November 11, 2015 – WASHINGTON (NNS) — The 35th annual Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award ceremony was held Nov. 10, in the Pentagon Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C.
Cmdr. Anthony S. Grayson, a Long Beach, California, native and Cmdr. Matthew J. Duffy, of Kenilworth, Illinois, received the award.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson served as guest speaker at the ceremony and presented the awards to the winners. Richardson received the award himself in 2001.
CNO focused his remarks on the life, leadership style and extraordinary career of Stockdale. “He embodied integrity, humility, strength and resilience,” said Richardson. “Drawing largely from principles of stoic philosophy, Stockdale’s courage and decisive leadership was an inspiration to his fellow prisoners of war.”
The award is presented annually to two commissioned officers on active duty in the grade of commander or below who are serving in command of a single unit and who serve as examples of excellence in leadership and conspicuous contribution to the improvement of leadership in the Navy. Stockdale was a recipient of the Medal of Honor and the annual event is held in the room that honors all of the Medal of Honor recipients across the services.
Grayson, commanding officer of USS Providence (SSN 719), is the Atlantic Fleet recipient. He recently returned from a scheduled six month deployment.
“This award is really for my crew of roughly 250 Sailors, Chiefs, and Officers with whom I have had the privilege of serving with on Team Providence,” said Grayson. “They have made me the leader I am today. I am grateful and humbled.”
Duffy, former commanding officer of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) Golden Hawks, is the Pacific Fleet recipient and now is the Deputy Executive Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C.
“This recognition is squarely the result of the men and women of VAW-112, the Golden Hawks,” said Duffy. “Taking ownership of their mission, they faced multiple operational readiness obstacles and rose to meet every challenge.”
Nominations for the award come only from commanding officers in command and who are themselves eligible for the award. The two commanders were chosen from among eight finalists to receive the award.
A Naval Academy graduate and pilot, Stockdale ejected from his A-4E Skyhawk over North Vietnam in September 1965 and was held prisoner and frequently tortured until February 1973. He received the Medal of Honor in 1976 and served as president of the Naval War College from October 1977 until August 1979.