The 34th annual Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award ceremony was held Dec. 4, in the Pentagon Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C.
Cmdr. Thomas J. Dickinson, a Whitehall, Michigan, native and Cmdr. Gavin Duff, of Toms River, New Jersey, received the award.
The award recognizes two commissioned officers in pay grade of commander (O-5) or below who contributed to Navy leadership improvement. 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.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert served as guest speaker at the ceremony and presented the awards to the winners. Greenert received the award himself in 1992.
Dickinson, former commanding officer of USS Barry (DDG 52), is the Atlantic Fleet recipient and is a professor at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
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 (CVN 77) next year.
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.
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.
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.
Press release, Image: US Navy