In a ceremony held at the Navy Museum’s Cold War Gallery, at the Washington Navy Yard on 21 March 2013, five USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Sailors were recognized for their outstanding leadership in the “Big E” during its final year of operational service in a storied 51-year career. The Naval Historical Foundation arranged for featured speaker Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN (Ret.), a former Chief of Naval Operations who commanded Enterprise during combat operations in Vietnam in the period 1965-1967, before most of the awardees were born. Holloway was a longtime Foundation President and Chairman, and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus.
The awards are given annually to those Sailors who demonstrate the best leadership characteristics and performance and include recognition of the best Chief Petty Officer, and the ship’s Sailor of the Year, Junior Sailor of the Year, and Bluejacket of the Year. In addition, a special “Admiral James L. Holloway III Leadership Award” is given each year to a deserving crew member in honor of Admiral Holloway’s inspirational leadership nearly five decades ago.
The trip to Washington, DC for the awardees is sponsored annually by the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership whose programs promote public service as a noble calling in memory of its namesake’s 41 years as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. NHF has worked with the Stennis Center for the past six years to recognize these exceptional Sailors.
Following the ceremony, the Sailors had a chance to tour the Cold War Gallery. They enjoyed a very special moment when Admiral Holloway gave them a personal tour of the Into the Lion’s Den exhibit, which tells the story of a 1972 Vietnam War naval battle in Haiphong Harbor. As Commander 7th Fleet, Holloway was embarked on the heavy cruiser USS Newport News (CA 148) during the battle, and he shared the story with the gathered Sailors.