The John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership



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The John Paul Jones Award

for Inspirational Leadership

John Paul Jones was our Navy's first indomitable seafighter, whose spirit of personal sacrifice, patriotic devotion, and courage further added to his glory as an inspirational leader.
In tribute to one who has followed such a course of honored leadership, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:

Commander John M. Geragotelis, USN

for inspirational leadership which contributed significantly to the operational effectiveness of Air Wing TWO and Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE ONE from January to December 2003. As Commanding Officer, Commander Geragotelis directed 26 aircrew and 182 maintenance and support personnel during high tempo combat operations over Iraq in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM. Commander Geragotelis’ inspirational leadership was directly responsible for the successful completion of 231 squadron combat missions, including the successful employment of eight High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles. He was the natural choice as the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses Lead for the “Shock and Awe” opening strike of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, coordinating over 20 aircraft supporting 60 coalition aircraft striking targets in or around Baghdad. He provided a SEAD sanctuary of electronic jamming and HARM coverage suppressing over 70 Surface-to-Air Missile systems while simultaneously denying enemy communications throughout the conflict. Commander Geragotelis’ inspiring tactical excellence and innovation, technical maintenance expertise and untiring dedication to superior performance serves as an inspiration to all. His legendary leadership is in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service and the Navy League of the United States.

The Admiral Claude V. Ricketts Award

for Inspirational Leadership

Admiral Claude V. Ricketts was a selfless leader of devoted dedication to the Naval Service and his country. Rising from enlisted status to the highest rank in the Navy, the Admiral was recognized for his inspirational leadership by all who knew him. As a sailor, strategist, and statesman, Admiral Ricketts gained respect for his determination and positive actions to preserve the maritime strength of the nation.


In tribute to one who has demonstrated by his own actions a dedication to the high ideals by which Admiral Ricketts lived, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:

Mess Management Specialist First Class

Robert P. Kroeger, USN
for outstanding performance of duty while assigned to Naval Station, Great Lakes. His exceptional performance of his duties as Food Service Officer for Galley 535 (Ouellet Hall) ensured the annual service of over 13 million well-balanced meals to the Navy’s newest sailors. His outstanding commitment lead to the establishment of Naval Station Great Lakes first Command Training Team. He personally tracked and managed ten departmental Training Petty Officers through the implementation of an in-depth training curriculum encompassing over 15 different naval ratings and 250 Naval Station personnel. His efforts to ensure the safety and welfare of those who work, reside on or visit Naval Station, Great Lakes, were evident in his facilitation of the Navy’s Rights and Responsibilities workshop. He demonstrated outstanding leadership while directly responsible for 1,400 military and civilian personnel and ensured 100 percent compliance to strict sanitation and safety standards. His keen sense of responsibility and professionalism were an example for superiors, peers and subordinates alike. He has demonstrated enormous pride, leading by example, while achieving successful results in difficult taskings. Petty Officer Kroeger’s hard work and dedication reflect credit upon him and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service and the Navy League of the United States.
The Admiral Claude V. Ricketts Award

for Inspirational Leadership

Admiral Claude V. Ricketts was a selfless leader of devoted dedication to the Naval Service and his country. Rising from enlisted status to the highest rank in the Navy, the Admiral was recognized for his inspirational leadership by all who knew him. As a sailor, strategist, and statesman, Admiral Ricketts gained respect for his determination and positive actions to preserve the maritime strength of the nation.
In tribute to one who has demonstrated by his own actions a dedication to the high ideals by which Admiral Ricketts lived, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:

Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Todd D. Robinson, USN

for extraordinary leadership and heroism while serving as Leading Chief Petty Officer, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit SIX Readiness and Training Department. Assigned to a deployed detachment supporting ATF-EAST because of his experience and leadership, he was directed to support the First Marine Expeditionary Force for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Senior Chief Robinson’s superb leadership, technical expertise and exceptional professionalism, in the face of enemy fire, were significant in completion of Coalition Forces campaign objectives and the liberation of the Iraqi people. On short notice, he established and supervised 15 Navy EOD Technicians from two commands in support of Marine Corps units. Demonstrating superior managerial and technical knowledge, Senior Chief Robinson supported simultaneous Marine Corps and U.S. Army combat operations. While operating with the Regimental Combat Team FIVE and 3rd Infantry Division under enemy small arms and mortar fire, he supervised and destroyed seven anti-aircraft weapons systems and twelve mortar batteries assaulting the Euphrates River and Saddam Canal Bridge Crossings. For his specific actions he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor. Furthermore, he coordinated and supervised the largest ordnance disposal operation of the war, destroying 6,500 rocket propelled grenades, 100,000 landmines, 9,200 mortars, 8,000 hand grenades, 3 million small arm rounds and 1,000 cases of plastic explosives. Senior Chief Robinson’s extraordinary leadership, unrelenting perseverance, and steadfast devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy and the Navy League of the United States.


The General Holland M. Smith Award

for Operational Competence
The bold, daring, and imaginative leadership of General Holland M. Smith as "the father of modern U.S. amphibious warfare" led to the establishment of an operational competence which still provides guidance for our Naval Service.
In recognition of one who has faithfully subscribed to the guidance of General Holland M. Smith, the Navy League of the United States is honored to present this Award in 2004 to:

Major Kenneth M. Woodard, USMC

for extraordinary effectiveness in achieving and maintaining the highest state of combat readiness while serving as Operations Officer, Detachment Officer-in-Charge, and Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Marine Attack Squadron 223, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, United States Marine Forces, Atlantic from January 2003 to December 2003. Major Woodard demonstrated superior performance by exceeding all goals for readiness, combat efficiency, tactical proficiency, and technical prowess, despite being engaged in a demanding training schedule. As the Head of the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 Harrier Division, he directly impacted the success of the Harrier Force during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Deploying to Kuwait in early February, he coordinated the integration of the Harrier Force into the combined forces air component commander campaign plan by advocating the use of the Harrier as a precision strike and strike coordination/armed reconnaissance platform. Later in the war, he supervised a forward operating base for Harriers deep in enemy territory at An Numaniyah, Iraq, which greatly increased the sortie rates for the Harrier Force, decreased response time, and freed tanker assets for other critical missions. His efforts contributed to the generation of over 7,000 combat sorties and the delivery of over 6 million pounds of ordnance. As the VMA-223 Operations Officer, he provided realistic combat training while continuing the squadron’s unprecedented streak of mishap-free flying. Major Woodard’s outstanding performance, dedication to excellence, and selfless devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps, the United States Naval Service, and the Navy League of the United States.


The Stephen Decatur Award

for Operational Competence

The bold and daring resolution of Stephen Decatur gave birth to an operational competence which still remains a guiding star for our Naval Service.


In just recognition of one who has faithfully subscribed to the guidance of Stephen Decatur, the Navy League of the United States is honored to present this Award in 2004 to:

Lieutenant Marc L. Rouleau, CEC, USN


for professional achievement and inspirational leadership in the superior performance of his duties while serving as Bridge Team Officer-in-Charge while assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FOUR in direct support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Lieutenant Rouleau superbly led his team in the successful execution of advanced “non-standard” bridging concepts in support of I Marine Expeditionary Force Engineer Group. By his inspirational leadership, tenacity, and tireless initiative, his bridging team built multiple modular steel bridges under critical time constraints across the Saddam Canal, Tigris and Nar Diyalah Rivers. His team also built associated expeditionary combat supply routes to support the U.S. Marine Corps’ historic advance from Kuwait to Baghdad. Within 96 hours of crossing the border into Iraq, he led the construction of a 60-meter bridge across the Saddam Canal northwest of An Nasiriyah. The bridge provided an alternate route to the Marines and Army who met fierce resistance in the city. Not only did the bridge enhance Marine Corps mobility, but it also provided a long-term benefit by opening a new avenue for commerce for the Iraqi people in the area surrounding the bridge. Upon completion of the first bridge, he directed the construction of three bridges over the Nar Diyalah River in Baghdad. Timely construction of these bridges opened critical logistics support routes into Baghdad and provided an immediate influx of vital supplies and reinforcements to Coalition Forces attempting to secure the capital. Additionally, the bridges reopened the two main Nar Diyalah River crossings into Southern Baghdad, allowing commerce to resume and humanitarian assistance to begin at the cessation of hostilities. He consistently maintained an intense focus on mission accomplishment and the security and safety of his troops. His accomplishments as a battlefield engineer in direct support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM were extraordinary. Lieutenant Rouleau’s personal initiative, inspirational leadership and devotion to duty reflect great IRAQI FREEDOM credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy and the Navy League of the United States.
The Captain Winifred Quick Collins Award

for Inspirational Leadership

Captain Winifred Quick Collins, former Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel, provided inspirational leadership and performed her demanding duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. The example she gave by her personal high ideals and devotion to the Navy and the nation is worthy of emulation.
In tribute to one who has followed such a course of leadership, the Navy League of the United States is honored to present this Award in 2004 to:

Lieutenant Laura J. Bender, CHC, USNR

for outstanding achievement and superior performance of duty while serving as the Battalion Chaplain, 2d Medical Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Forces Atlantic. Lieutenant Bender’s vision and inspirational leadership was instrumental to the success of 2d Medical Battalion’s deployment during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During the pre-deployment period, Lieutenant Bender identified, trained and equipped all Lay Leaders representing all faiths. She also planned and coordinated with local churches, civic organizations, and schools to mail care packages to Marines and Sailors. Deploying with Bravo Surgical Company as Company Chaplain from February to May 2003 in direct support to I Marine Expeditionary Force, Lieutenant Bender provided superlative pastoral support for all hands. During the war, Bravo Surgical Company traveled 600 miles into Iraq and treated 667 wounded Marines, Coalition Force personnel and 1,200 Iraqi citizens and Enemy Prisoners of War. She was engaged in every mass casualty situation where she comforted the wounded and administered last rights to the deceased. She was also a key member of the Combat Stress Platoon where she actively assisted in critical incident stress debriefings of all Bravo Surgical Company and wounded personnel during the aftermath of mass casualty situations. She contributed to Bravo Surgical Company developing into a cohesive and highly effective medical team working under combat situations and harsh environmental conditions. By her initiative, example, and selfless devotion to duty she reflected great credit upon herself and her command. Her accomplishments clearly are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service and the Navy League of the United States.


The Captain Winifred Quick Collins Award

for Inspirational Leadership

Captain Winifred Quick Collins, former Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel, provided inspirational leadership and performed her demanding duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. The example she gave by her personal high ideals and devotion to the Navy and the nation is worthy of emulation.
In tribute to one who has followed such a course of leadership, the Navy League of the United States is honored to present this Award in 2004 to:
Staff Sergeant Paula D. Bruckman, USMC
for superior performance of her duties as Ordnance Division Staff Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge, VMA-223, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2D Marine Aircraft Wing, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic from January to December 2003. Staff Sergeant Bruckman demonstrated an unfailing commitment to the Bulldogs and was a model for all Marines to emulate. Dedicated to aggressive training, Staff Sergeant Bruckman completely restructured individual and division training plans as she tracked computer-based learning for the entire squadron. This training program resulted in the qualification of six observers and eight ordnance team leaders. Recognizing that accountability and safety are the hallmarks of any successful ordnance program, she personally managed the division records through several intense headquarters inspections while simultaneously stressing safe ordnance handling procedures for all weapons, inert or live. Her meticulous attention to detail resulted in 100 percent munitions accountability with errorless storage compatibility and documentation procedures. Staff Sergeant Bruckman’s efforts paid off in the crucible of combat as VMA-223 delivered 87,500 pounds of precision-guided ordnance without a single weapons system failure during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Finally, her constant emphasis on safety contributed greatly to VMA-223 receiving the 2D MAW, II MEF, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Department of the Navy Ground Safety Awards for 2003. Staff Sergeant Bruckman’s leadership, initiative, and selfless devotion to duty reflect great credit upon herself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the Navy League of the United States.

The General John A. Lejeune Award

for Inspirational Leadership

General John A. Lejeune, thirteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps and often referred to as "the greatest of all Leathernecks," during his more than 40 years of service with the Marine Corps, served on the high seas aboard ships of the Navy, participated in many campaigns, and led the famed Second Division (Army) in World War I. He served as Commandant of the Marine Corps from June 1920 to March 1929. His spirit of personal sacrifice, patriotic devotion, and courage further added to his glory as an inspirational leader.


In tribute to one who has followed such a course of honored leadership, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:

Captain Theodore P. Sudmeyer, USMC

for his outstanding leadership throughout his tour with Second Tank Battalion, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Forces Atlantic. His positive and inexhaustible leadership style consistently motivated Marines to put forth maximum effort in the attainment of personal and collective objectives. A true combat multiplier, Captain Sudmeyer has constantly exhibited the ability to synthesize the disparate elements of task-organized units to achieve at a higher level. Immediately upon assuming command, he conducted a detailed assessment of the company’s training readiness and validation of his company METL. From this rigorous evaluation, he established a detailed and disciplined training plan designed to produce maximum results in a very short time. His diligence in planning and discipline in execution ensured that the battalion passed the NBCD evaluation with no discrepancies. Further, his approach to training for combat readiness produced not only 14 combat ready tank crews, but drove a maintenance readiness rate that far surpassed other companies during this maintenance intensive time frame. Following this exercise, his company began preparing for combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His foresight and inspection of the personal deployment plans of his Marines ensured that their family members also were prepared for the deployment. He led his battalion across the Kuwait/Iraq border as one of the first two Marine battalions to enter Iraq, destroying a number of enemy armored vehicles and establishing a blocking position. After supporting 2d Tank Battalion and 5th Marine’s movement across the Euphrates River, as well as playing a significant role in 2d Tank Battalion’s seizure of the Tigris River Bridge in An Numinayah, Captain Sudmeyer’s company assumed its role as the Main Effort for the Battalion, RCT-5 and the Division. Its mission was to pursue a fleeing enemy, and continue to expand a critical line of communication enroute to Baghdad. His aggressive leadership and keen focus helped to quickly turn the tide on a determined enemy. Captain Sudmeyer’s superior leadership is unmatched and is in keeping with the highest standards of the United States Marine Corps and the Navy League of the United States.

The General Gerald C. Thomas Award

for Inspirational Leadership by a Marine


General Gerald C. Thomas, the first Marine in history who rose from the enlisted ranks to retire as a four-star general, was self-educated, fought three wars, and was one of the most respected officers ever produced in the Corps. His spirit of personal sacrifice, patriotic devotion, and boundless courage further added to his glory as an inspirational leader.
In tribute to one who has followed a similar course of honored leadership, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:

Sergeant Darvin A. White, USMC

while serving as Team Leader, 4th Platoon, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California, from January to December 2003. Sergeant White displayed selfless dedication to the Marines and Sailors of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit during pre-deployment exercises and Western Pacific Deployment 03-02 in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Serving in a Staff Noncommissioned Officer billet, he successfully led his team in both pre-deployment training exercises and in the most challenging real world, sophisticated missions. After being inserted by parachute at high altitude, he guided his team 11 kilometers across a rocky desert mountain range at night with zero illumination, severe thunderstorms with 80 percent relative humidity, and constant temperatures ranging between 100-115 degrees. Sergeant White’s inspirational leadership enabled his fatigued reconnaissance team to make it to their objective within eight hours and conduct critical reporting on enemy activities before sunrise. Additionally, he inspired his platoon during a non-compliant visit, board, search and seizure of a vessel in the Northern Arabian Gulf suspected of inserting 40 members of Al Qaeda terrorists. During this mission, Sergeant White fearlessly volunteered to be the lead climber on the first boat, despite sea swells of over 10 feet. His courageous actions inspired his entire platoon to accomplish a dangerous and challenging mission. Sergeant White’s dedication, courageous and disciplined leadership, and professionalism are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps, the United States Naval Service, and the Navy League of the United States.


The Rear Admiral William S. Parsons Award

for Scientific and Technical Progress

Rear Admiral William S. Parsons, through searching awareness and dedication to all aspects of scientific and technical advances, was responsible to a marked degree for ensuring that our Navy remained in operational consonance with the ever-shifting and increasing demands of the changing world.


In memory of the lasting inspiration his work represents, the Navy League of the United States is honored to present this Award in 2004 to:

Dr. Allen T. Hjelmfelt

As United States Naval Forces Central Command and United States FIFTH Fleet Center for Naval Analyses Representative, Dr. Hjelmfelt directed the data collection, reconstruction and analysis of complex air and strike mission databases contributing significantly to naval successes in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM. His brilliant analytical abilities and keen operational insights directly contributed to development of comprehensive war plans and led to the successful management of five Carrier Strike Groups and 35 Tomahawk cruise missile platforms that launched over 800 cruise missiles, over 5,000 strike sorties, and over 5,000 strike support sorties in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His direct personal involvement with all aspects of air and strike operations analysis contributed significantly to an early end to the Iraqi regime and an accelerated end to the war. Furthermore, he developed innovative air and strike analysis tools and databases adaptable to operations throughout the theater that greatly enhanced the effectiveness and relevance of naval forces in theater and those preparing to deploy. His exceptional professional ability, technical expertise, and leadership qualities reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy and the Navy League of the United States.


The Vincent T. Hirsch Maritime Award

for Outstanding Leadership

The Navy League is honored to present this Award in 2004 to a distinguished American who has been singularly effective in creating a broader understanding of the importance of maintaining a viable United States Merchant Marine and supporting maritime industry:



Jordan M. Truchan

for his commitment to the goal of promoting and maintaining a strong U.S.-flag Merchant Marine and its infrastructure to protect the national military and economic security of the United States. As President and Chief Executive Officer of American Ship Management, LLC, and Patriot Contract Services, LLC, he has overseen the operation of 24 U.S.-flag ships including 11 American President Lines container vessels, 11 large medium speed roll on/roll off vessels for the Military Sealift Command and 2 Ready Reserve Force vessels for the Maritime Administration engaged in critical strategic sealift for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other Department of Defense activities worldwide in the War on Terrorism. With over 35 years of executive and engineering experience covering all facets of ocean transportation and commercial support for the U.S. military, and as a member of the U.S. Transportation Command, Maritime Administration Senior Joint Planning Advisory Group, and the U.S. Transportation Command Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement Program, he has been of great benefit in providing assistance to the U.S. Government and the maritime industry through his efforts to improve U.S. capability to deliver war materials throughout the world. The U.S. maritime industry will be forever grateful for his contributions that are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy League of the United States.

The Admiral Ben Moreell Award

for Logistics Competence

Admiral Ben Moreell is remembered for his exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Government in World War II whereby, through the exercise of extraordinary foresight, judgment, initiative, and energy, he directed the expansion of the Naval Shore Establishment in the United States and the building of advanced bases overseas. He displayed great originality and exceptional capacity for bold innovations to the end that the Fleet received support in degree and kind unprecedented in the history of naval warfare.
In tribute to one who has followed a course of honored leadership in the tradition of Admiral Moreell, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:

Lieutenant Commander Nathan P. Borchers, USN

Lieutenant Commander Borchers has been a driving force of positive motivation in ENTERPRISE and has achieved phenomenal results. His natural ability to inspire won him the respect of his peers, the confidence of his superiors and the admiration of his Sailors. Charging his Sailors to focus on the pillars of operational, training and material readiness, he launched a program to prepare his Sailors to be ready to operate effectively as a team. He instituted an innovative training program that transformed his Sailors into proficient and knowledgeable watch teams while inspiring his Sailors to not just maintain the condition of the ENTERPRISE propulsion plant, but to improve it. Lieutenant Commander Borchers achieved a true transformation of the culture in his department that has produced unprecedented reliability and operability of the 43-year-old ENTERPRISE propulsion plant. The most remarkable evidence of Lieutenant Commander Borchers’ inspirational leadership is that he has achieved a step increase in standards and performance while raising the morale and esprit of his department. Under his mentorship, the advancement rates for his Sailors have risen from approximately half to nearly double the Navy-wide average. He has instilled an awesome sense of pride and teamwork in his operators that is accompanied by marked improvements in retention and advancement. Lieutenant Commander Borchers’ contributions to logistics competence are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy and the Navy League of the United States.


The Admiral Ben Moreell Award

for Logistics Competence

Admiral Ben Moreell is remembered for his exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Government in World War II whereby, through the exercise of extraordinary foresight, judgment, initiative, and energy, he directed the expansion of the Naval Shore Establishment in the United States and the building of advanced bases overseas. He displayed great originality and exceptional capacity for bold innovations to the end that the Fleet received support in degree and kind unprecedented in the history of naval warfare.
In tribute to one who has followed a course of honored leadership in the tradition of Admiral Moreell, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:
Sergeant Bryan K. Rogers, USMC
for operational competence while serving as the Container Control Non-Commissioned Officer at the Ash Shuabah Sea Port of Debarkation, Kuwait and the Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge of the Marine Expeditor Team located at the Aerial Port of Debarkation, Camp Wolf, Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from February to June 2003. Under Sergeant Rogers’ leadership, his detachments took on the responsibility of receiving supplies and equipment necessary to build the forces of I Marine Expeditionary Force to the point needed to sustain combat operations. In order to facilitate distribution, Sergeant Rogers helped design and implement a database to track all items entering and exiting the Sea Port of Debarkation. Concurrently, he developed convoy routing procedures that minimized disruptions in the distribution pipeline, ensuring the expedient reception, staging and onward movement of approximately 1,065 convoys consisting of more than 2,100 principal end items. These items and equipment proved vital to the rapid build-up of combat forces in Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His relentless pursuit of excellence enabled Marines forward deployed to benefit from uninterrupted logistical support. Sergeant Rogers’ initiative and total dedication to duty reflect great credit upon himself and are keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps, the United States Naval Service, and the Navy League of the United States.

The Honorable J. William Middendorf II Award

for Engineering Excellence

As Secretary of the Navy, J. William Middendorf II provided outstanding leadership in furthering the national defense and naval/maritime policies of the United States Government, providing a personal and professional example which few could equal and none could surpass, but all should emulate.


In tribute to one who has followed a similar course of honored leadership, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:

Chief Machinist Mate Terrance P. Deboer, USN

for Engineering Excellence while serving as a member of the Submarine Force’s Engineering Department onboard USS FLORIDA. Under his leadership, FLORIDA was awarded an unprecedented three consecutive Submarine Squadron Seventeen Engineering Excellence awards. His leadership and technical expertise were instrumental in the repair of vital engineering systems while underway, allowing the ship to remain on station in support of national defense. He supervised the completion of over 20,000 man-hours of complex reactor plant testing during an arduous dry-docking maintenance period, ensuring the ship was 100 percent prepared for a first-ever SSGN refueling overhaul and conversion. Chief Deboer was instrumental in the successful start of the ship’s overhaul, spearheading the preparation and transfer of over 30 engineering systems to shipyard control three weeks ahead of schedule with zero errors. His efforts allowed the early start of over 70,000 man-days of production work. Chief Deboer’s engineering expertise is unmatched and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy and the Navy League of the United States.


For Exceptional Leadership in Providing Excellence in

Operational Intelligence Support to the Fleet
The Navy League of the United States and the Naval Intelligence Foundation seek to advance knowledge and recognize achievement in the art of naval and maritime intelligence and to preserve, extend, and extol the heritage of Naval Intelligence.
In recognition of one who has demonstrated such exceptional leadership, the Navy League of the United States and the Naval Intelligence Foundation present this award in 2004 to:

Commander Eric Andrew Taylor, USN

Commander Taylor exceptional leadership skills which proved instrumental when the Navy’s only forward deployed aircraft carrier deployed on short notice to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His leadership within the KITTY HAWK STRIKE GROUP Carrier Intelligence Center, comprised of 21 officers, 87 enlisted Sailors, and three civilians assigned to USS KITTY HAWK and Carrier Air Wing FIVE, produced immediate, time-sensitive, and detailed intelligence to support over 1,725 combat sorties. Commander Taylor’s superb analysis supporting this high-speed operation resulted in numerous targets attacked to support the advance of V CORPS and FIRST MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. Finally, the intelligence team’s data collection and mission analysis provided the primary mechanism to rate mission effectiveness for air wing operations to the Combined Forces Command and Combined Forces Air Component Command. After the ship returned to homeport and completed a five-month maintenance period, Commander Taylor immediately reassembled his team, rapidly trained new members, and provided detailed operational intelligence to a very successful bi-lateral exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. He also conducted the simultaneous integration of USS KITTY HAWK’s Electronic Warfare Module as the Electronic Warfare rating was merged into the cryptologic community. This added 33 members to the Cryptologic-Intelligence team and made Commander Taylor responsible for the material condition of the most significant, non-kinetic self-defense capability aboard the Navy’s oldest active aircraft carrier. By his every action, Commander Taylor provided a superb example for all to emulate and significantly contributed to the mission. The exceptional professional ability, steadfast initiative, and selfless dedication to duty exhibited by Commander Taylor reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service and the Navy League of the United States.


The Robert M. Thompson Award

for Outstanding Civilian Leadership

Robert M. Thompson, courageous "Father of the Navy League," related with patriotic urgency the compelling need for United States sea power. His clarion message has served as an inspirational reminder of the importance of constant vigilance in maintaining our nation's maritime strength.
Pursuant to the Thompson tradition, the Navy League is honored to present this Award in 2004 to an outstanding citizen who has been effectively mindful of sea power's importance to our country's defense:

The Honorable Edward L. Schrock

for outstanding leadership and dedication to the maritime strength of the United States and its allies. In 1964, Mr. Schrock was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. While in the Navy, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He retired after 24 years of service with the rank of Captain and has consistently been a leading advocate for defense issues since his election to the House of Representatives in 2000. As founder and co-chair of the House Navy/Marine Corps Caucus and the House Special Operations Forces Caucus, Mr. Schrock has become an outspoken leader on Navy and Marine Corps issues, particularly shipbuilding and personnel issues. As a member of the Coast Guard Caucus, Mr. Schrock shares the goal of a strong, well-equipped, and properly trained Coast Guard that will protect our coastal and inland waterways. Congressman Ed Schrock’s inspiring leadership, unswerving patriotism, and dedication to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy League of the United States.

The Robert M. Thompson Award

for Outstanding Civilian Leadership

Robert M. Thompson, courageous "Father of the Navy League," related with patriotic urgency the compelling need for United States sea power. His clarion message has served as an inspirational reminder of the importance of constant vigilance in maintaining our nation's maritime strength.
Pursuant to the Thompson tradition, the Navy League is honored to present this Award in 2004 to an outstanding citizen who has been effectively mindful of sea power's importance to our country's defense:

The Honorable Susan A. Davis

for outstanding leadership and dedication to the maritime strength of the United States and its allies. Mrs. Davis’ interest in public affairs grew out of her experiences as a social worker, parent, youth mentor, and military spouse. Through these life experiences, Mrs. Davis developed an understanding of and deep commitment to improving her community and country. As co-chair of the Navy/Marine Corps Caucus, Congresswoman Davis shares the goal of a strong, well-equipped, and properly trained Navy and Marine Corps. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she has fought for and secured increased spending on defense and homeland security, the largest military pay raise in decades, and worked to restore free and reduced lunch programs for military families. Congresswoman Susan Davis’ inspiring leadership, unswerving patriotism, and dedication to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy League of the United States.


The Alfred Thayer Mahan Award

for Literary Achievement

Alfred Thayer Mahan, in formulating his doctrine of mastery of the sea and through his chronicles of naval theory and history, has endowed this country with a profound heritage. His writings provide vital stimulus and guidance to those who harken to the call of the sea and those who share in the defense of our nation.
Aware of the infinite value of these living lessons, and the disastrous impact they portend if unheeded, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to a staunch interpreter and disciple:

Captain Sam J. Tangredi, USN

for his career-long efforts in developing, articulating and popularizing naval concepts, culminating in the publication of the book Globalization and Maritime Power. Globalization and Maritime Power has been called the most significant publication on naval issues of 2003, and Captain Tangredi is credited with developing a persuasive, compelling explanation of the relationship of naval power to the globalized world economy. Globalization and Maritime Power is the latest in Captain Tangredi’s series of over 100 publications on a wide range of naval defense issues. The majority of these publications were completed outside of his official assignments, indicative of his personal commitment to defining our future naval vision. His writings have received 10 literary awards, including the U.S. Naval Institute’s prestigious Arleigh Burke Essay Prize and from both the Surface Navy Association and the Naval Submarine League. In addition to his outside publications, he has produced hundreds of official speeches and countless official studies and documents throughout his career and recently as Head of the Strategy and Concepts Branch of OPNAV. Many of his ideas have been endorsed by senior naval leaders and adopted as official policy. Captain Tangredi’s literary efforts clearly adhere to the standards set by Alfred Thayer Mahan and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy and the Navy League of the United States.

The Captain Arthur L. Johnson Award

for Inspirational Leadership


Captain Arthur L. Johnson was a World War II recipient of the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal. In September 1942, as Master of the cargo vessel SS VIRGINIA DARE, Captain Johnson led his gallant crew in successfully defending the ship against repeated enemy submarine, dive bomber, and torpedo plane attacks in a blazing battle lasting for seven days and nights.
In tribute to one who has followed such a course of honored leadership, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to Military Sealift Command Civilian Mariner:

Frederick Cullen III

for meritorious service as 2nd Officer (Cargo) onboard fleet oiler USNS JOHN ERICSSON from January through December 2003. Mr. Cullen demonstrated inspirational leadership and exceptional composure under the most challenging and stressful situations involving logistical support for joint and coalition maritime forces in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. On the forefront in the war against terrorism during 2003, USNS JOHN ERICSSON was underway for 303 days, over half of those operating in the Persian Gulf. Mr. Cullen was a key player as ERICSSON conducted 249 underway replenishments, delivering nearly 100 million gallons of fuel and almost 5 thousand pallets of needed cargo to U.S. and coalition warships. His comprehensive knowledge and superb performance as Cargo Officer were directly responsible for the numerous accolades ERICSSON received for outstanding logistical service to fleet customers during this intense operational period. Beyond being an expert in all aspects of cargo operations aboard a fleet oiler, Mr. Cullen also proved to be an outstanding role model and mentor for his subordinates. He effectively trained and qualified two 2nd officers as ship’s cargo mates. By exacting a demand for safety consciousness for all those working on the ship’s UNREP or flight deck, Mr. Cullen was largely responsible for ERICSSON’s selection as runner-up for the Military Sealift Command Surface Ship Safety Excellence Award. He also volunteered to be the Liaison Officer on the first South Korean replenishment oiler ever to refuel a U.S. surface combatant where his technical expertise, professional demeanor, and good judgment ensured the monumental success of this exercise. Mr. Cullen’s exceptional leadership and distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the highest time-honored traditions of the United States Navy, the Military Sealift Command, and the Navy League of the United States.


The Able Seaman Oscar Chappell Award

for Outstanding Maritime Stewardship


Able Seaman Oscar Chappell was a World War II recipient of the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal. On 26 March 1942 he was standing watch as helmsman when his fully loaded oil tanker, SS DIXIE ARROW, was torpedoed three times within one minute. Seaman Chappell sacrificed his life to remain at his post, where he deliberately maneuvered the ship to drive the flames and smoke toward him but away from the forecastle, allowing seven of his shipmates to jump to safety.
In tribute to one who exemplifies the same dedication to his duties and shipmates, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to Military Sealift Command Civilian Mariner:

Angel R. Ortiz

for meritorious service as Underway Replenishment Boatswain in the fast combat support ship USNS SUPPLY from January through December 2003. Extremely knowledgeable and experienced in underway replenishment procedures, Boatswain Ortiz was singularly responsible for configuring, testing, and maintaining equipment for all rigs onboard the largest replenishment platform in Military Sealift Command. Committed to providing his best for SUPPLY and her fleet customers, Boatswain Ortiz continually trained all interdepartmental crewmembers on shipboard rig team operations. Displaying the confidence to face the toughest leadership challenges, he molded seven of the newest and most inexperienced civilian mariners into a high performance top-notch team of boatswain mates clearly ready and able to handle the demands of replenishing surface combatants in three major theaters of operations supporting the global war on terrorism. While deployed, SUPPLY safely and successfully conducted nearly 160 underway replenishments, delivering over 29 millions of gallons of fuel and over 15 thousands pallets of ammunition, cargo, and stores. The praise SUPPLY received from customers and operational commanders was due in large measure to the unwavering commitment and technical proficiency of Boatswain Ortiz. The culmination of his tireless work ethic, dedicated service, and strong leadership skills was the successful connected underway replenishment of an aircraft carrier using 6 station rigs while simultaneously conducting a vertical replenishment – the first for an MSC ship. The steadfast devotion to duty and distinctive accomplishments of Boatswain Ortiz are in keeping with the highest time-honored traditions of the United States Navy, the Military Sealift Command, and the Navy League of the United States.

The Captain David H. Jarvis Award

for Inspirational Leadership


Captain David H. Jarvis displayed exceptional leadership and professional ability in conducting a mission across 1,500 miles of frozen Arctic to save a stranded whaling fleet of several hundred men from starvation. In mid-winter, under the most dangerous and demanding conditions, he organized and directed a remarkable expedition that braved blizzards and 50-degrees-below-zero temperatures to bring food and other supplies to the starving men. His outstanding leadership was responsible for organizing the distressed fleet and providing the guidance and discipline essential to their survival. Captain Jarvis was awarded a Gold Medal by a special Act of Congress for his outstanding service.
In tribute to one who has followed a similar course of honored leadership, the Navy League of the United States presents this Award in 2004 to:


Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Joseph B. Abeyta, USCG

for superior performance of duty and meritorious contribution to the high standards of leadership in the Coast Guard. During Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, Lieutenant Abeyta distinguished himself as both a highly capable manager and a compassionate leader. Lieutenant Abeyta led the evacuation team and facilitated the safe, orderly movement of 250 active duty personnel and their families to safe haven. After assuring personnel well being, Lieutenant Abeyta returned his attention to operational capability and recovery. Lieutenant Abeyta provided guidance to local response efforts to restore facilities and equipment. Showing remarkable ingenuity, the Group employed Carolina skiffs as a makeshift ferry system to assist multiple agencies. The cumulative impact of his leadership in response to this crisis resulted in swift recovery, safe execution, and prudent stewardship. However, nothing could have prepared him for the tragedy that would follow. Lieutenant Abeyta ascended to command following the sudden, tragic death of his commanding officer in November 2003. Lieutenant Abeyta shepherded his unit through the anguish and mourning while sustaining high levels of readiness. His leadership through this tragedy inspired the District Commander to allow Lieutenant Abeyta to remain in command until the scheduled transfer season. While serving as commanding officer Lieutenant Abeyta leveraged technology to assist our first responders, spearheading a grassroots initiative that used the personal data assistant platform and wireless technology to substantively improve the execution of search and rescue missions. Lieutenant Abeyta’s dedication, judgment and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and the Navy League of the United States.

The Douglas A. Munro Award

for Inspirational Leadership



The United States Coast Guard's only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient displayed supreme leadership when he gave his life while leading the evacuation of a battalion of Marines trapped on a beach at Guadalcanal during World War II. Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro directed his craft to draw the enemy's fire and shield the other boats, saving the lives of many brave men. By his magnificent performance and dauntless devotion to duty, this heroic Coast Guardsman exemplified the highest level of leadership and professional competence.
In memory of the lasting inspiration of this great Coast Guardsman, the Navy League of the United States is honored to present this Award in 2004 to:
Chief Petty Officer Timothy H. Cotton, USCG
for outstanding inspirational leadership while serving as the engineering petty officer on U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vashon (WPB-1308), San Juan, Puerto Rico, from January 2003 to December 2003. During an exhausting 2600-hour operational tempo, Chief Cotton successfully engaged every engineering casualty, enabling the cutter to achieve an astonishing 96 percent operational readiness rate. After a catastrophic piston failure, Chief Cotton worked 11 straight days of overtime to overhaul the engine, allowing Vashon to make a scheduled patrol. On his own volition, he researched the feasibility of conducting maintenance availabilities in San Juan, laying the foundation for an initiative that will eliminate transit time to non-homeport availability and decrease the crew’s time away from their families. Chief Cotton also superbly supervised all aspects of an emergency dry-dock to replace corroded hull plating, minimizing the cutter’s down time. He directly supervised over 400 small boat launching and recovery details without mishap. Likewise, as migrant embarkation supervisor, he spearheaded efforts to standardize debriefings of detained migrants, resulting in valuable intelligence being gleaned. Chief Cotton’s presence in local emergency rooms during personnel injuries was just one demonstration of his utter dedication to the crew’s welfare. Chief Cotton also took the time to mentor a local high-risk vocational class, visiting the students as well as organizing a field trip to visit local Coast Guard units. Chief Cotton’s expertise, dedication to service, and outstanding leadership are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and the Navy League of the United States.

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