Washington, DC - The 2014 recipients of the Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award were announced in NAVADMIN 208/14 today.
The award was established in honor of Vice Adm. Stockdale whose distinguished naval career symbolized the highest standards of excellence in both personal conduct and leadership. It 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.
Cmdr. David G. Duff, former commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) is the Pacific Fleet recipient and now is at the Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina, on track to be the executive officer for USS George H. W. Bush next year.
Cmdr. Thomas J. Dickinson, former commanding officer of USS Barry (DDG 52), is the Fleet Forces Command recipient and is a professor at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
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.
Duff was nominated by Cmdr. Tommy Locke, commanding officer VFA-14, for his commitment to warfighting and firm, fair and consistence leadership style according to his nomination letter.
Locke wrote, "Commander Duff's servant leadership, unsurpassed tactical ability and pursuit of excellence were pivotal to the Tophatters' resounding success as a critical warfighting element of the United States Navy. During his time as Skipper, the command deployed to 5th Fleet and emerged as the preeminent Strike Fighter Squadron in the Navy, winning the 2013 commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific Battle "E" award. He shaped a culture dedicated to lethal effectiveness in combat, professional stewardship of resources and expectations of the highest personal standards. A true warrior in every sense of the word, Commander Duff served with honor, courage and commitment."
Dickinson was nominated by Cmdr. Kevin Kennedy, commander USS Gravely as a "focused, determined leader who has the innate ability to make difficult decisions under stressful conditions," according to his nomination letter.
Kennedy wrote about the USS Barry's 2013 deployment originally scheduled for six months that became a nine-plus month deployment in "the highly charged eastern Mediterranean tactical environment dominated by instability in Syria."
Dickinson's "positive attitude, frankness, and sincere compassion resonated deeply and continued to motivate his outstanding crew," wrote Kennedy.
Duff and Dickenson will receive their awards from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert at a ceremony later this year.
Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale, for whom the Stockdale Award is named, articulated five roles for a leader - moralist, jurist, teacher, steward and philosopher.
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.
He died in 2005 and is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He is survived by his wife Sybil of Coronado, California, his four sons and eight grandchildren.