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Navy League 2008 Annual Sea Service Awards

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    At the Navy League s National Convention the League presented over twenty annual Sea Services Awards to military and civilian personnel of the Navy, Marine
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2008
      At the Navy League's National Convention the League presented over twenty annual Sea Services Awards to military and civilian personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and United States flag Merchant Marine for their outstanding contributions advancing the logistics readiness and competence of the sea services. Most are presented to military officers and enlisted personnel but three focused on three very special merchant mariners.
      See the Navy League News - Navy League Presents 2008 Sea Service Awards in the December Sea Power magazine for the  names and citations of all the awardees.
      If you should know of someone you believe elgible for these Navy League awards next year please let me know so that the Pacific Merchant Marine Council can nominate him or her. It would be appropriate for the council to establish and present an award or two of its own in 2009. This will be discussed among the 2009 officers and directors of the council.
      The Vincent T. Hirsch Maritime Award
      This award is named for a patron of the Merchant Marine and past National President of the Navy League. It is awarded to an individual in public or private life whose efforts and/or achievements have contributed substantially to an increase of public awareness of the vital role of a privately owned American-flag merchant fleet, both to the United States defense establishment and to the nation's economic well being.
      Robert P. Magee, Jr.*, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, American Shipping Group, Inc is this year's award recipient.
      During his 39-year career in shipbuilding and ship operations industry Magee has been committed to helping maintain a strong U.S. maritime industry and protecting the military and economic security of the country. A Merchant Marine Academy graduate, Magee now serves as chairman and chief executive officer of the American Shipping Group, Inc. American Shipping comprises the blue water domestic and military support shipping companies of Saltchuck Resources, directing several shipping lines including Totem Ocean Trailer Express and Sea Star Line that are part of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement.

      The Arthur L. Johnson Award for Inspirational Leadership

      This award is named for the Master of the SS VIRGINIA DARE who in 1942 bravely and successfully fought off enemy submarines, dive-bombers and torpedo planes in a blazing battle lasting for seven days and nights. Captain Johnson, Master of a gallant ship and a gallant crew exhibited qualities of leadership and courage in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Merchant Marine. This award for inspirational leadership is awarded to a Military Sealift Command civil service licensed officer in the deck or engineering department or staff officer in the supply department who has made significant and innovative contributions to the American maritime defense team.

      Theodore S. Robinson - First Assistant Engineer aboard the USNS Grapple (T-ARS-53) is this year's awardee.

      As First Assistant Engineer, Robinson was instrumental in the successful transfer of the Safeguard class salvage ship Grapple from a Navy asset to Military Sealift Command fleet where it is now. He developed the machine history critical to understanding operational limitations and identifying required upgrades for keeping the ship seaworthy. Robinson also streamlined parts procurement, training new engineers and establishing new policies and practices, as well as reassembling the ship after a 75-day habitability modification and overhaul maintenance period.  


      The Able Seaman Oscar Chappell Award for Inspirational Leadership
      This award is named for an Able Seaman on the SS DIXIE ARROW who showed heroism beyond the call of duty. In 1942 Oscar Chappell served on an oil tanker that was struck by three torpedoes that resulted in the ship and surrounding sea being engulfed by fire and explosions. Seaman Chappell injured by the explosions heroically stayed at the helm of the ship and saved seven of his shipmates from burning to death by turning the ship into the wind and redirecting the flames from his trapped shipmates onto himself and the wheelhouse. Placing his own safety beyond consideration, his last thought and act was to assure the survival of his imperiled shipmates. His magnificent courage and selfless disregard for his own life constitutes a degree of heroism which is an enduring inspiration to seamen of the United States Merchant Marine everywhere. This award for outstanding maritime stewardship is awarded to a Military Sealift Command civil service unlicensed crewmember who displays selfless dedication to shipmates.
      Khalid Muhammad - Boatswain aboard the USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1) is this year's awardee.
      While serving as a Military Sealift Command Merchant Mariner aboard the dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1) Boatswain Muhammad's quick response was key to the treatment of a critically ill shipmate who would not have otherwise survived. After hearing sounds of distress from an adjoining stateroom, Muhammad found a fellow Mariner lying on the deck. He summoned aid and performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation until the medical service officer arrived. He then assisted in all aspects of medical care needed to prepare and transport the crewmember to the ship's hospital. The crew member was later medically evacuated by helicopter for hospital treatment.
      * From sources on the Internet:
      Originally from Philadelphia, Mr. Magee earned his B.S. in Marine Transportation at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, after which he served as a deck officer in the merchant marine. Going on to earn an MBA at Widener and study Advanced Management at Harvard, he has dedicated his entire career to the maritime industry. He is also the 2004 recipient of the prestigious Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) award and earlier this year the Seafarers House 2008 Golden Compass Award.

      American Shipping Group is a holding company that comprises the blue water domestic and military support shipping businesses of Saltchuk Resources. These businesses consist of:Totem Ocean Trailer Express, a liner company serving Alaska; Interocean American Shipping; a ship management company; Sea Star Line L.L.C; a common carrier operating between Florida and Puerto Rico. Mr. Magee is the Chairman of Sea Star Line.
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