|Leadership Award Programs - USS ENTERPRISE Leadership Award Winners|
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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.
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
CDR James Belmont - 2014 Straight Furrow Award
LCDR James J. Hornef - 2013 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
LCDR Charles E. Ardinger - 2012 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
CDR Edward Galvin - 2011 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
CDR Mark Metzger- 2010 Admiral James L. Holloway II Award
James P. Mosman - 2009 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
LCDR Megan Thomas- 2008 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
LCDR Marshall G. Riggall - 2007 Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award
CWO3 John L. Gilbert - 2006 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
CDR Richard Rogers - 2005 Admiral James L. Holloway III Award
ABH1 (AW/SW) Scott Bowman - 2004 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
LT Larry Watson- 2003 Stephen Decatur Leadership Award
AD1 Lora Eury - 2002 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
AT1 (AW/SW) Robert S. Pickering - 2001 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award
ET1 (SW/AW) Leslie E. McGuire - 2000 Billy Hawk Leading Petty Officer Award