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.
- Exemplifies the Coast Guard core values of honor
(integrity), respect (esteem of junior and seniors), and
devotion to duty (ethical behavior).
- Fosters a culture of diversity through inclusion and
- Mentors both junior and senior personnel toward their
- Leads and motivates by example to ensure mission
Recommendations: Commandant (CG-12C) solicits nominations via ALCOAST
message annually. Award period will be adjusted based on calendar year
Specific Nomination Guidelines
- Nomination Deadline has passed
- 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 signature endorsement from the recommended members
chain of command must be included on memo.
- Nominations must be forwarded to Commandant (CG-12C) via
the chain of command. Note: If a commanding officer is
nominated, the next level command shall endorse the
- 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
(for example: GS12jones_putnam_civilian_2015)
- 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 deadline.
- A selection panel will review the nominations and make
recommendations to the Assistant Commandant for Human
Resources (CG-1) for approval.
Presentation: The award will be presented at an appropriate ceremony at the
district command closest to the winner.
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Last Modified 5/7/2015