WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) presented the Vice Adm. James B. Stockdale Leadership Award to two commanders at the Pentagon in the Hall of Heroes Jan. 5.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert presented the annual award, which is presented to two active duty commanding officers below the rank of captain, to Cmdr. Gerald N. Miranda, representing the Pacific Fleet, and Cmdr. Robert B. Chadwick, representing the Atlantic Fleet.
Miranda and Chadwick were presented the award due to their leadership, personal initiative and exemplary performance and contribution to the overall success of the operational units they command.
"These men excelled in all areas in command," said Greenert. "They both said it was about getting a crew of good people that worked with them and inspired them."
Greenert went on to describe the power behind the two successful commanding officers. He credited their spouses who, like all military husbands and wives, bear much of the burden of military service each day and keep their loved ones "in the channel and off the rocks." Beside every successful person, there is the support of a family, said Greenert.
Miranda took command of the San Diego, Calif.-based USS Asheville (SSN 758) in August 2009. He has earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Joint Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and the Combat Action Ribbon.
"How it came to be that I was chosen among a field of so many fine commanding officers is truly unbelievable," said Miranda. "Although my name is on the plaque, it's really a crew award. Without my courageous and dedicated crew this recognition would not be possible. Each and every Sailor onboard shares in this award's prestige; they are a group of ordinary men doing extraordinary things."
Chadwick, who is currently serving as deputy executive assistant to the vice chief of naval operations, reported aboard the Mayport, Fla.-based USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) in November 2009. During his tour as the commanding officer, Roosevelt deployed in support of operations off the east coast of Africa and was awarded the Battle "E" for 2010. He has earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal (four awards), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal.
"Although this award is being presented to me I honestly feel as though it is a unit award," said Chadwick. "This award is for inspirational leadership and if that is true inspiration flowed both ways because I was inspired every day by the Sailors of Roosevelt. I won't presume that I fully earned it the highest compliment I could receive would be that I was a commanding officer that Roosevelt's remarkable crew deserved and I accept this award on their behalf."
Both awardees were nominated by their peers and were recommended by their fleet commanders for consideration by a panel of senior officers. The Stockdale Leadership award is an annual award and is presented to two commissioned officers, one each from the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets who are on active duty below the grade of captain who are in command of a single ship, submarine, aviation squadron, or operational warfare unit. It was established in honor of Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale. His distinguished naval career symbolizes the highest standards of excellence in both personal example and leadership. Candidates must be nominated by their peers who themselves must be eligible for the award.
Stockdale was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and a pilot. In September 1965, he ejected out of his A-4E Skyhawk over North Vietnam and for eight years was held prisoner and was frequently tortured. In 1976, he received the Medal of Honor. He served as president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., from October 1977 until August 1979. Stockdale died in 2005 and is buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
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