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 leadership traditional
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
Commands submitting 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 command and a
professional head and shoulders photograph. Electronic nominations and
photographs are encouraged. Each nominations should be in standard memo
format using Times New Roman (12 point) font with one inch margins, not to
exceed three pages and accompanied by a one-page, doubled spaced, proposed
citation along with sufficient background information to enable final
selection of the recipients. Citations must be 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, NLT TBD. HQs offices not within
DCMS or DCO chain of command should forward nominations directly to
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. 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 may be sent by email
. 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, Stop 7907, Washington DC 20593-7907. Commands using
this method should allow sufficient time for security screening to meet the
TBD deadline. A selection panel will review the nominations and make
recommendations to the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources (CG-1) for
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.