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Leadership Award Programs - USS ENTERPRISE Leadership Award Winners

A total of six awards are presented annually to the Senior Officer, Junior Officer, Chief Petty Officer, First Class Petty Officer, Junior Petty Officer, and Bluejacket who demonstrate the finest leadership and most closely exemplify the Navy Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. The namesake for each award is a heroic or successful mentor selected from the long and colorful history of the eight warships bearing the name USS ENTERPRISE. The period for each award will extend for one year from 25 November (the CVN-65 commissioning date) of each year, and an awardee must have been assigned to the ship for the entire award period.

The Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award -- presented to the outstanding senior officer (O-4 or O-5). Admiral James L. Holloway III was the third Commanding Officer of USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), serving from 17 July 1965 through 11 July 1967. His thirty-nine years of service on active duty encompassed combat in three wars and culminated in service as the twentieth Chief of Naval Operations from 1974-1978.

The Stephen Decatur Leadership Award -- presented to the outstanding junior officer (O-1, O-2, or O-3). Under the command of Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, the third ENTERPRISE (a small, 12 gun clipper schooner) was deployed to the Mediterranean in 1801 as the smallest member of a four-ship squadron assigned to protect commerce from the Barbary States of Morrocco, Algiers , Tunis , and Tripoli . Tiny ENTERPRISE handed the Barbary Pirates their first defeat against the better armed ship TRIPOLI . Lieutenant Decatur "repeatedly raked his opponent, and, without losing a man, finally forced her surrender with 50 of her crew of 84 killed or wounded." On 31 October 1803 the PHILIDELPHIA, a 36-gun frigate, ran aground on an uncharted shoal while pursuing a small craft in Tripoli harbor. Surrounded by gunboats, it surrendered and the Tripolitans later salvaged her on a flood tide. During the evening of 16 February 1804, Lieutenant Decatur embarked in a captured sixty-foot Maltese ketch, renamed her INTREPID, and manned her with a hand-picked crew of eighty-three, including seventy-five ENTERPRISE Sailors. Hiding the crew below decks, he navigated into Tripoli Harbor with the assistance of a Maltese pilot and approached the PHILADELPHIA . The pilot explained they had lost their anchor in a storm and requested permission to moor alongside. "Each of the boarders knew his part well and within twenty minutes their firebrands had PHILADELPHIA blazing from stem to stern." Evading shots from shore batteries and gunboats, Lieutenant Decatur's crew rowed out of the harbor and proceeded to report the destruction. "The business being so well planned not a man was killed or wounded on our side. The Tripolitans had twenty killed, the others made their escape by jumping overboard after the ship was afire." This was labeled "the most daring act of the age" by the British Lord Nelson.


Lawhon Winners

The Chief G. F. Lawhon Leadership Award -- presented to the outstanding chief petty officer (E-7, E-8, or E-9). On 16 January 1942, just a little more than a month after Pearl Harbor, the seventh USS ENTERPRISE (CV 6) was steaming in the Pacific Ocean on her way to support the reinforcement of Somoa in the early days of our nation�s participation in World War II. An SBD Dauntless, the workhorse bomber of the Battle of Midway, landed on her flight deck. The landing Dauntless tore loose an arresting wire and plunged off the deck edge into the catwalk. Sadly, the bomber's left wheel struck a chief petty officer in the head and he died later that day. The chief's name was G. F. Lawhon, an Aviation Machinist's Mate who had put the ship in commission in 1938. He was one of the solid, experienced key men who hold a ship together and make it work. Chief Lawhon had devised the first system for recovering the tow strap from a catapulted plane as it becomes airborne, and he had helped perfect the precisely stressed shearing pins in the flight deck barriers on those older carriers, which did not have angled flight decks. Chief Lawhon's death was the first of World War II on USS ENTERPRISE (CV 6).

The Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award -- presented to the outstanding first class petty officer. The awardee will be the ENTERPRISE Sailor of the Year. Many ENTERPRISE heroes emerged on 14 January 1969, when the sudden detonation of a Zuni rocket on the flight deck killed 28 and injured 343 men. One of these heroes Flight Deck LPO Billy Hawk. After the detonation, fuel poured from aircraft, causing a towering fury of fire and heat that detonated more weapons. Without our modern fixed AFFF system, manned hose teams were the only defense. In all, 18 weapons detonated, blowing 8 holes in the flight deck and damaging or destroying 35 aircraft. Petty Officer Hawk led a group of men to remove 3 aircraft from Elevator #3, creating a firebreak and preventing the spread of fire to the island. Billy Hawk then proceeded to extinguish fires on Elevator #4.

The Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith Leadership Award -- presented to the outstanding junior petty officer (E-4 or E-5). The awardee will be the ENTERPRISE Junior Sailor of the Year. Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith manned a machine gun in the port catwalk on the afternoon of 1 February 1942, as USS ENTERPRISE (CV 6) concluded a successful engagement against the enemy in the South Pacific. She recovered her aircraft and steamed at thirty knots to Pearl Harbor, her homeport. Suddenly five twin-engine Japanese bombers in an open V broke out of the low clouds on the starboard bow and attacked in a shallow glide. One bomb burst about thirty feet off the port quarter. Fragments tore into the ship, cutting a gasoline line, igniting the spilled fuel, and shattering Petty Office Smith's leg. Smith continued to fire until the action was over and his shipmates hauled him off to sickbay. He died there two hours later, the first combat casualty in the ENTERPRISE .

The Lieutenant Richard H. Best Award -- presented to the outstanding airman, seaman, or fireman. The awardee will be the ENTERPRISE Bluejacket of the Year. Lieutenant Richard H. Best commanded the (VB 6) BLACK RAMS, who flew Dauntless bombers from USS ENTERPRISE (CV 6) during the Battle of Midway (4-6 June 1942). He can be appreciated for his physical courage, as well as modesty and respect for his teammates. He led the attack against the AKAGI, the lead carrier of the Japanese battle group, flying over her flight deck at 1800 feet. "I pulled out and rolled over so close to that ship that the Japanese could have thrown a monkey wrench at me." The BLACK RAMS payload ignited loaded enemy planes as well as bombs and torpedoes left topside, creating a "hell's casserole." Ever-modest, Best credits torpedo plane crews from other squadrons, particularly those embarked on USS HORNET, for bringing down the Japanese fighter cover and clearing the way for the dive bombers, sacrificing their lives in the process. Best also praised his commanders for providing inspiration and motivation essential to mission accomplishment. In particular, he credited Admiral Halsey with ensuring his battle group engaged the enemy "viciously and vigorously" by growing a "Get them" attitude in the ENTERPRISE crew all the way from the lowest E1 to the Captain. Lieutenant Best's physical courage at Midway cost him his naval career. A soured supply of oxygen burned his lungs during his final run, requiring him to dive to a breathable altitude. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, he was discharged from the naval service by the end of the year.


USS ENTERPRISE Award Winners

LCDR James J. Hornef - 2013 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
ABH3 Rene E. Horne - 2013 LT Richard H. Best Award & ENTERPRISE Bluejacket of the Year
NC1 Linda H. Gilmore - 2013 Billy Hawk LPO Award & ENTERPRISE Sailor of the Year
MMC Diana J. Godal - 2013 Chief S.F. Lawhon Award
LT Steven R. Weatherspoon - 2013 Stephen Decatur Award
MA2 Mikeyah Rose - 2013 BM2 George H. Smith Award & ENTERPRISE Junior Sailor of the Year

LCDR Charles E. Ardinger - 2012 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
LS3 Aaron M. Pierce - 2012 LT Richard H. Best Award
EM1 Joeseph P. McClure - 2012 Billy Hawk LPO Award
MMCS Cody P. Pericich - 2012 Chief S.F. Lawhon Award
CWO3 Brian C. Miller - 2012 Stephen Decatur Award
AM2 Todd M. Brown - 2012 BM2 George H. Smith Award

CDR Edward Galvin - 2011 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
AOAN (SW/AW) Quinterris Ponder - 2011 LT Richard H. Best Award
AT1 (SW/AW) Jerry Alston - 2011 Billy Hawk LPO Award
MRC (SW/AW) Henry Wiegel - 2011 Chief S.F. Lawhon Award
LTJG Gilbert Bishop, II - 2011 Stephen Decatur Award
LS3 (SW/AW) Peter Carreon- 2011 BM2 George H. Smith Award

CDR Mark Metzger- 2010 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
MMFN Gilbert Laguerre- 2010 LT Richard H. Best Award
HT1 (SW/AW) Ross Tenny - 2010 Billy Hawk LPO Award
FCC (SW) Norman Edwards - 2010 Chief S.F. Lawhon Award
LT Warren Sherman - 2010 Stephen Decatur Award
ET2 (SW/AW) Michael Stanislow- 2010 BM2 George H. Smith Award

James P. Mosman - 2009 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
Lt. Matthew A. Paul - 2009 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
MMCM (SW) Ronald D. Thames, Jr. - 2009 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award
NC1 (SW/AW) Sara M. Reynolds - 2009 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
ABH2 (AW/SW) Nekita N. Patrick - 2009 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith Leadership Award (Sailor of the Year)
A03 Jennifer A. Chambers - 2009 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Leadership Award (Junior Sailor of the Year)

LCDR Megan Thomas- 2008 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
LT David Elmer- 2008 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Rodney Chronister - 2008 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award
Operations Specialist 1st Class Phillip Neighbarger - 2008 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Stacy Reynolds - 2008 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith Leadership Award (Sailor of the Year)
Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Norman Newson - 2008 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Leadership Award (Junior Sailor of the Year)

LCDR Marshall G. Riggall - 2007 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
CWO3 Alonzo Wells - 2007 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
ABECS(AW/SW) Eric J. Young - 2007 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award
AO1(AW/SW) Edrick A. Smith - 2007 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
CS2(SW/AW) Moses Brathwaite Jr. - 2007 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith Leadership Award (Sailor of the Year)
ABF3(AW) Harold J. Rees - 2007 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Leadership Award (Junior Sailor of the Year)

CWO3 John L. Gilbert - 2006 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
PS1 Albert L. Campbell - 2006 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
IS2 Ashley M. Haley - 2006 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith Award (Sailor of the Year)
ABFCS Johnnie Johnson - 2006 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award
CDR James R. Shoaf - 2006 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
ABHAN Jeffrey B. Tennon - 2006 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Award (Junior Sailor of the Year)

CDR Richard Rogers - 2005 Admiral James L. Holloway III Award
LT Joe Thompson - 2005 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
MMC (SW) Cameron Cuskey - 2005 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award
HM1 (SW/AW) John W. Tapley - 2005 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
BM2 (SW/AW) Jamie L. Ellis - 2005 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith Leadership Award
ENFA George C. Hawthorne - 2005 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Award

ABH1 (AW/SW) Scott Bowman - 2004 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
AD2 (AW/SW) Khalid Trady - 2004 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George C. Smith Award
SN SW Wilmary GusmanMartinez - 2004 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Award
LT Joe Fals - 2004 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
LCDR Nathan Borchers - 2004 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
ETCS James Owens - 2004 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award

LT Larry Watson- 2003 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
CDR Brian Broene - 2003 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award

AD1 Lora Eury - 2002 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
FC2 James Ortolano - 2002 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George C. Smith Award
ISSN Stacy Land - 2002 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Award
LT Jeffery Montgomery - 2002 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
CDR Lee Johnson - 2002 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
PHCS David Smith - 2002 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award

AT1 (AW/SW) Robert S. Pickering - 2001 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
AE2 (AW/SW) Timothy J. Whittington - 2001 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George C. Smith Award
PN3 (SW/AW) Sara E. Pizzo - 2001 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Award
LTJG Arthur M. DuVall - 2001 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
LCDR Donald A. Smith - 2001 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
HMCS (SW/SW/FMF) Roger M. Grose - 2001 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award

ET1 (SW/AW) Leslie E. McGuire - 2000 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
HT2 (SW/AW) Raymond L. Benison - 2000 Boatswain's Mate Second Class George H. Smith Award
Airman (AW) Jessice Marie Kissel - 2000 Lieutenant Richard H. Best Award
LTJG Rebecca A. Boone - 2000 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
CDR Richard C. Gile - 2000 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
ABFCS (AW) Michael R. Johnston - 2000 Chief G.F. Lawhon Leadership Award




Additional Information

Leadership Award Programs
USS ENTERPRISE Leadership Award Winners
USS NIMITZ Leadership Award Winners
USS HARRY S. TRUMAN Leadership Award Winners
USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN Leadership Award Winners
USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Leadership Award Winners
USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH Leadership Award Winners
USS JOHN C. STENNIS Leadership Award Winners
USS CARL VINSON Leadership Award Winners
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