Commander, Submarine Group Two


  2012 Submarine League Award Winners Announced

Groton, Conn. – The winners of the coveted 2012 Submarine League Awards were announced in a naval message July 27, of which two commands assigned to Commander, Submarine Group Two were chosen based on their exceptional performance and achievements.

The Rear Admiral Jack N. Darby Award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence of Command was awarded to Cmdr. J. Carl Hartsfield, commanding officer, USS Newport News (SSN 750) and the Master Chief Frank A. Lister Award for Exceptional Leadership and Motivation while serving as the Chief of the Boat, was awarded to Master Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Eric J. Murphy, chief of the boat, USS New Mexico (SSN 779).

The Rear Admiral Jack N. Darby Award was established in 1986 and is presented to a submarine commanding officer who displayed exceptional leadership while in command. The Naval Submarine League established the award to honor the dynamic and inspirational attributes of Darby. Throughout his naval career, Darby instilled a sense of purpose and dedication to excellence in all who served with him. His devotion to duty, his uncompromised integrity, and his exemplary personal manner epitomizes the qualities one identifies with the term "command presence".

Hartsfield reflected on the recent announcement of winning the Rear Admiral Jack N. Darby Award.

"I am honored to be selected for such a heritage-rich award. However, all the credit rests with my talented and dedicated crew. I have served with none better," said Hartsfield.

Established in 2000, the Master Chief Frank A. Lister Award for Exceptional Leadership and Motivation recognizes a submarine Chief of the Boat who has displayed exceptional leadership and motivation of his crew while serving as or has recently served as Chief of the Boat in a submarine during the nomination period.

Lister was selected twice to serve as the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force Master Chief, first in 1975 and then again in 1979. He was also selected three times, in 1975, 1978 and 1982, as a finalist for Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. Lister retired from the Navy in 1982 and became the president and CEO, Non-commissioned Officers Association in San Antonio, Texas, according to the League's website.

Murphy, who was told during morning quarters on July 30 that he had won the Master Chief Frank A. Lister Award for Exceptional Leadership and Motivation, credited the crew of USS New Mexico for winning this esteemed award.

"This award is a testament of the hard work, dedication and commitment of the New Mexico sea warriors," said Murphy. "I am honored to serve with a crew of this caliber."

Murphy who has served as the chief of the boat for three years will be transferring soon to his next assignment, Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, S.C., where he will continue to instill exceptional leadership and motivation in the next generation of submariners.

In addition to Hartsfield's and Murphy's achievements, Lt. Cmdr. William J. Hendershot, who was assigned to USS Frank Cable (AS 40) when he was nominated for a Submarine League Award, won the Vice Admiral Levering Smith Award for Submarine Support while he served aboard the submarine tender. Hendershot reported to Regional Support Group in May of 2012, which is located at Naval Submarine Base New London, and reflected on winning the award. 

"It came as a surprise since I wasn't aware that I was nominated," said Hendershot, who like, Murphy, recognized the accomplishments of the Sailors he served with. "The accomplishments that were recognized out in Guam, while I was the production management assistant, were the direct efforts of the repair department and the hard work that they have done."

Established in 1986, the Vice Admiral Levering Smith Award for Submarine Support Achievement recognizes specific or continuing submarine support actions which have most contributed to the furtherance of the spirit or fighting mettle of the Submarine Force. Submarine support actions include service in submarine support activities, submarine maintenance and training activities, and other such activities engaged in direct support of the submarine force, according to the League's website.

Other Submarine League Awards include the Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood Award for Professional Excellence; Rear Admiral Frederick B. Warder Award for Outstanding Achievement; and the Vice Admiral J. Guy Reynolds Award for Excellence in Submarine Acquisition.

The winners chosen for the 2012 Submarine League Award will be recognized at the 30th Annual Naval Submarine League Symposium to be held on Oct. 18 in McLean, Va.