The Navy League annually presents the Munro award recognizing an outstanding Coast Guard enlisted member. The awards are separate and distinct from the military decorations and awards program. The Douglas A. Munro Inspirational Leadership Award is awarded to the Coast Guard enlisted member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professional competence to the extent of their rank and rate.
A. Munro, Signalman First Class of the United States Coast Guard, died heroically on Guadalcanal on 27 September 1942. Having volunteered to evacuate a detachment of Marines who were facing annihilation by an unanticipated large enemy force, he succeeded in safely extricating them and in doing so was mortally wounded.
He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1939. He had an outstanding record as an enlisted man and was promoted rapidly through the various ratings to a signalman, first class. In the engagement in which he gave his life, Munro had already played an important part, having been in charge of the original detachment of ten boats that had landed the Marines at the scene. Having successfully landed them, Munro led his small boat force to a previously assigned rally position. Almost immediately upon his return, he was advised by the officer-in-charge that conditions at the insertion point were not as expected. The Marines were under attack from a larger Japanese force and needed to be extracted immediately. Munro volunteered to lead the boats back to beach for the evacuation. Commanding the rescue expedition, he brought the boats in-shore under heavy enemy fire and proceeded to evacuate the Marines still on the beach. Though the majority of the Marines had been loaded into the boats, the last remaining elements of the rear guard were having difficulty embarking. Assessing the situation, Munro maneuvered himself and his boats into a position to cover the last groups of men as they headed to the boats. In doing so, he exposed himself to greater enemy fire and suffered his fatal wound. At the time it was reported that he had remained conscious long enough to utter his final words: "Did they get off”?
For his heroic and selfless actions in the completion of this rescue mission Munro was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was also posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal. His other decorations included the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
The Munro award is for regular active duty members only.
The guidelines are intentionally flexible and extend to all regular and reserve enlisted members serving on active duty during the calendar year. Reserve members serving on active duty over 30 days may be considered alongside regular active duty candidates; it is the command's discretion to determine whether it is reasonable for the reserve member to compete in either category.
E-6 and below Munro Award recipients will receive an automatic merit promotion. If advancing to E-7, the winner will be required to obligate service for an additional 24 months IAW COMDTINST M1000.2A Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancement Manual.
(1) Consistently demonstrate outstanding leadership skills which motivate and inspire personnel to strive for excellence and achieve measurable results that contribute to the success of the Coast Guard.
(2) Possess the ability to create and maintain a positive culture where the differences of all personnel are respected, so that all can achieve their full potential and maximize their contributions to Coast Guard missions.
(3) Act with strategic intent to ensure optimization of resources, influence the success of major operations or programs, and achieve operational excellence.
(4) Guided, coached, or mentored others to reach new levels of performance.
The deadline to submit nominations is Wednesday, February 14, 2024.
- Nominations shall 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. Any package that exceeds two pages will not be considered.
- The memorandum nominating the member shall be signed by the member's officer-in-charge or commanding officer. A "signature endorsement", per The Coast Guard Correspondence Manual (COMDTINST M5216.4C), is required by the first Flag or SES in the nominated member's chain of command. New Page Endorsements will not be accepted.
- The nomination should identify specific examples and supporting information on how the nominee exemplifies each of the award criteria by using impact statements explaining how the member inspired others and influenced favorable outcomes. Nominations should directly address individual leadership methodologies and climate rather than simply reporting unit accomplishments.
- Nominations can emailed to HQS-SMB-CG-128TrainingCourses@uscg.mil. Please save PDF under the naming convention: Last Name, First Initial. Year_Name of Award (for example: Coastie, J. 2022_Munro)
- Commands are encouraged to present nominees with a citation recognizing their leadership, regardless of whether they are selected as a winner. See citation example below.
A selection panel will review the nominations and make recommendations to the Commandant for approval. All primary and alternate winner selections will be vetted by CGIS prior to Commandant approval.