Naval Submarine School announced Feb. 4 the recipient of the Dennis Sulzer Memorial Leadership Award.
Chief Fire Control Technician (SS) Richard Strubel is the leading chief petty officer of the Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS), and this year’s award winner.
“Chief Petty Officer Strubel demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to our Sailors and our Navy,” said Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, commander, Submarine Group 2. “He is highly motivated and a superb example of engaged leadership.”
Strubel directs a division of 22 instructors who manage almost 25 classes. During 2012, 1,700 initial accession submarine Sailors graduated, 530 of those with distinction. During the past year Strubel also served as the volunteer coordinator for Naval Submarine School’s Chief Petty Officer Association and worked with Groton’s Pleasant Valley School in various outreach projects including school field days, reading books to first and second graders and setting up a gallery for student art projects.
“My career was shaped by ‘my chief’, that chief petty officer who wouldn’t let me do less than my best and who pushed me to work not as hard as he could but as hard as I could,” said Strubel. “I emphasize to students how important it is that they always do the right thing. I’m proud my Sailors know what the right thing is and never hesitate to do it. I believe Master Chief Sulzer would be proud of where we are with his Navy and how we’ve made it our Navy.”
The annual award was established in 1996 in memory of Master Chief Quarter Master Dennis Sulzer, Submarine Group 2’s former command master chief who passed away the previous year. Each year the commander of Submarine Group 2 selects the awardee, who is honored at the annual Enlisted Submarine Ball in mid-April.
Sulzer was born Oct. 26, 1952, on Long Island, N.Y. and enlisted in the Navy, December of 1969. For almost 25 years he served on seven submarines, including a tour as chief of the boat on Los Angeles-class submarine USS Boston (SSN-703), and then as command master chief of Development Squadron 12 and Submarine Group 2. His last tour of duty was as brigade master chief at the United States Naval Academy before retiring in 1993.
“Chief Strubel has demonstrated the next level of inspirational leadership from the very first day he joined my staff,” said Capt. David Roberts, commanding officer, Naval Submarine School, “He has made an incredible, positive impact on the future leaders of the submarine force through direct hands-on mentoring and is truly deserving of being honored as a recipient of this award.”
Naval Today Staff, February 5, 2013; Image: US Naval Submarine School