Captain David H. Jarvis Inspirational Leadership Award
David Henry Jarvis was appointed to the Revenue Cutter Service in 1881, and
served until his retirement as a captain in 1905. He spent the majority of
his career in Alaska and the Bering Sea. His most famous adventure came
during an expedition to save the men of a whaling fleet that had become
trapped in the ice off Point Barrow, Alaska, during the winter of 1897-1898.
Jarvis, then a first-lieutenant, led a three-man rescue team consisting of
Second-Lieutenant Ellsworth P. Bertholf and Dr. J. S. Call of the U. S.
Public Health Service, with a herd of about 400 reindeer, across 1,500 miles
of tundra and pack-ice to Point Barrow. They arrived after a journey of 99
days and thereby saved more than 300 men from starvation. They had completed
the longest rescue mission ever undertaken in Coast Guard history. On 28
June 1902, Congress, in response to a request from President William
McKinley to recognize officially what he called a "victory of peace,"
awarded Gold Medals of Honor to Jarvis and the other two members of what
became known as the Overland Relief Expedition.
The Navy League annually presents the Jarvis award recognizing an
outstanding Coast Guard officer. The awards are separate and distinct from
the military decorations and awards program. The Captain David H. Jarvis
Award for inspirational leadership is awarded to the Coast Guard Officer who
has made outstanding contributions to the high standards of competence and
in the Coast Guard.
The guidelines are intentionally flexible and extends to all regular and
reserve officers serving on active duty during the calendar year.
(1) Consistently demonstrate outstanding leadership skills which motivate
and inspire personnel to strive for excellence and achieve measurable
results that contribute to the success of the Coast Guard.
(2) Possess the ability to create and maintain a positive culture where the
differences of all personnel are respected, so that all can achieve their
full potential and maximize their contributions to Coast Guard missions.
(3) Act with strategic intent to ensure optimization of resources, influence
the success of major operations or programs, and achieve operational
(4) Guided, coached, or mentored others to reach new levels of performance.
Commandant (CG-12C) solicits nominations via ALCOAST message annually.
Specific Nomination Guidelines -
Nomination Deadline has passed
- Commands submitting a nomination shall ensure that
member is in compliance with the Coast Guard Weight and body
Fat Standards Program Manual COMDTINST M1020.8 (Series).
- All nominations should include the individuals rank,
rate, time in service, time in grade, and time at unit or
- Each nomination should be in standard memo format using
Times New Roman (12 point) font with one inch margins, not
to exceed three pages.
- Nominations must be accompanied by a proposed citation
along with sufficient background information to enable final
selection of the recipients. Citations must be one-page,
single or doubled spaced, landscape format, typed using Times New
Roman (12 point font) with one inch margins.
- Recommendations are to be forwarded through the chain of
command and endorsed by the first Flag Officer or SES from
their respective units and forwarded to Commandant (CG-12C),
Office of Leadership. HQ offices not within DCMS
or DCO chain of command should forward nominations directly
to Commandant (CG-12C).
- The nomination should identify specific examples and
supporting information on how the nominee exemplifies each
of the criteria established in section (a) by using action
impact statements explaining how the member inspired others
and influenced favorable outcomes. Note: Feedback from
previous selection panels continues to stress that
nominations should directly address leadership methodologies
and climate rather than simply reporting accomplishments.
- Scanned copies of signed nominations and endorsements
may be sent by email to
HQS-SMB-CG-12CTrainingCourses@uscg.mil. Please save PDF under the naming
convention: memberranklastname_nameofaward_ _year (for
- Address nominations mailed via USPS first class mail to
Commandant (CG-12C), Office of Leadership, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr.
Ave. SE, Washington DC 20593-7907. Note: Commands using this
method should allow sufficient time for security screening
to meet the
- A selection panel will review the nominations and make
recommendations to the Assistant Commandant for Human
Resources (CG-1) for approval.
Certificates and inscribed watches are presented at the annual National Navy
League Convention. Commandant (CG-12C) pays for the winners’ and their
spouse’s transportation and the Navy League pays for accommodations and
meals at the convention location.