WASHINGTON - Navy announced the two 2016 Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award recipients Aug. 30 in NAVADMIN 194/16.
Cmdr. Gary G. Montalvo, commanding officer of USS North Carolina (SSN 777) is the Pacific Fleet recipient and Cmdr. Ken J. Kleinschnittger, former commanding officer of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 12 and currently working with Navy Expeditionary Combat Command forces, is the Fleet Forces recipient.
The two recipients were nominated by their peers, who were also eligible for the award, and chosen from among eight finalists to receive the award.
The Stockdale award was established in honor of Vice Adm. Stockdale whose distinguished naval career symbolized the highest standards of excellence in both personal conduct and leadership. It 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 ship, submarine, aviation squadron, Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) team, naval special warfare squadron, SEAL delivery vehicle team, special boat team, explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit, mobile diving and salvage unit, or Navy special clearance team and who serve as examples of excellence in leadership and conspicuous contribution to the improvement of leadership in the Navy.
Montalvo was nominated by the commanding officer of USS Buffalo (SSN 715), Cmdr. Micah Maxwell, who wrote the nomination was "in recognition of his outstanding performance and unquestionable leadership acumen while in command of a heavily decorated, deployed submarine crew."
Three commanding officers nominated Kleinschnittger for the award. In his nomination letter, Cmdr. Jeremy F. Thompson, commanding officer of EODMU 1, stated Kleinschnittger "is known throughout the EOD, SOF (Special Operation Forces) and joint communities for his strength of character, inspirational command presence, and humble approach to leading men and women."
Montalvo and Kleinschnittger are scheduled to receive their awards from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson at a ceremony later this fall.
Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale, for whom the Stockdale Award is named, articulated five roles for a leader -- moralist, jurist, teacher, steward and philosopher.
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.
He died in 2005 and is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He is survived by his three sons and eight grandchildren.