– USS Gridley Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Gadala Kratzer was awarded the 2013 Navy Epictetus Leadership Award by Director, Twenty-First Century Sailor Office, Rear Adm. Sean Buck during a video teleconference in San Diego, Sept. 18.
“You were chosen as the recipient of this year’s Epictetus Leadership Award, which recognizes the Sailor who best emulates and exemplifies the leadership traits that we need with respect to the resiliency of a U.S. Navy Sailor,” said Buck.
The Epictetus Award is an annual presentation, sponsored by the Navy Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control. The award acknowledges leadership characteristics in an individual who models behavior for other aspiring leaders to emulate, who maintains mission focus at all times, and who demonstrates concern and a caring attitude for their shipmates.
Commodore, Destroyer Squadron One, Capt. Michael Elliott, also presented Kratzer with a coin on behalf of Director, Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control, Capt. Scott Johnson.
“This award not only means a lot to the commanding officer, but also to the crew because the crew is a direct reflection of the ship’s captain,” said Elliott. “The toughest job we have as leaders is taking our Sailors from all walks of life, and giving them a common vision to follow, so it’s not so much getting this award; it’s the journey it takes to get there.”
The Epictetus award was named after a Greek philosopher who lived in the first century. He was a wise observer of human behavior and often used nautical metaphors to dispense his philosophy. This award comes from a metaphor of the ship's captain at the helm in turbulent seas: "Anyone can hold the rudder when the sea is calm.” The quote suggests that it takes a strong, confident, and undeterred leader to keep the ship afloat, on course, and the crew safe.
It is an honor to receive this award,” said Kratzer. “A commanding officer is nothing without his Sailors, so this is for the Sailors I lead on a daily basis.”
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