George R. Putnam Inspirational Leadership Award
The George R. Putnam Inspirational Leadership Award is named for the first
commissioner of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. He led the U.S. Lighthouse
Service through 25 years of modernization and expansion from 1910-1935. He
exemplified inspirational leadership and his accomplishments during civilian
service have stood the test of time. He retired from the Lighthouse service
in 1935 after 45 years of continuous years as a civil servant. He rose from
a clerk in the Coast and Geodetic Survey, all the way to the Commissioner of
the Lighthouse service in 1910, a capacity in which he served for 25 years.
Mr. Putnam was known for demonstrating great courage of conviction by hiring
most competent people, selected based “solely on their record and their
merits” and without regard to patronage. He introduced benefits such as
annual leave, paid sick leave, and a retirement system for Lighthouse
service employees. His reach was global, having authored a number of
articles for National Geographic Magazine. Mr. Putnam was also an innovator,
championing the use of radio aids to navigation and significantly increasing
the effectiveness and efficiency of the Lighthouse service. Mr. Putnam aptly
summed up his career in the following statement, “I am glad that I devoted
my life to public service. I am proud to have been able to help in making
less hazardous the voyages of those who go down to the sea ships. I am
happiest of all to have been associated with and to have been the leader of
a group of men and women loyal in their obedience to the ideals of good
government, devoted to the service of humanity”.
This prestigious award recognizes a Coast Guard civilian employee
(appropriated or non-appropriated) who exemplifies the Coast Guard's
leadership philosophy, principles, and core values. This award is presented
annually to a Coast Guard civilian (appropriated or non-appropriated) who
exemplifies the Coast Guard’s leadership philosophy, principles, and core
Must be a full time civilian employee of the Coast Guard and an employee of
the Coast Guard for at least three years.
(1) Exemplifies the Coast Guard core values of honor, respect, and devotion
(2) Demonstrates exceptional leadership competence, including the ability to
gain genuine commitment from all levels of the organization.
(3) Displays a keen sense of ethical conduct and exhibits a high degree of
(4) Demonstrates sincere interest and concern for junior personnel by
helping others reach their full potential.
(5) Motivates others to excel in mission performance.
(6) Is a positive role model and mentor.
(7) Fosters the spirit and intent of diversity.
(8) Is held in the highest esteem by seniors, peers, and juniors.
Commandant (CG-12C) solicits nominations via ALCOAST message annually. Award
period will be adjusted based on fiscal year rotation as opposed to calendar
year (January-December), due to awardees potentially being recognized at the
State of the Coast Guard Address (SOCGA).
Specific Nomination Guidelines
Nominations may be submitted by any Coast Guard member or civilian employee
in the form of a memorandum, not to exceed two pages. Each nomination must
be typed using Times New Roman (12 point) font with one inch margins. A same
page or new page endorsement from the recommended members chain of command
must be included. Nominations must be forwarded to Commandant (CG-12C) via
the chain of command. If a commanding officer is nominated, the next level
command shall endorse the nomination. All recommendations must be received
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 approval.
The award will be presented at an appropriate ceremony at the
district command closest to the winner.