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U.S. Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20593-7907
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 annually recognizes a Coast Guard civilian employee (appropriated or non-appropriated) who exemplifies the Coast Guard's leadership philosophy, principles, and core values.
Must be a full time civilian employee of the Coast Guard and an employee of the Coast Guard for at least three years. Nomination packages must include member’s grade level and years of service as a federal employee for the Coast Guard.
Recommendations: Commandant (CG-128) solicits nominations via ALCOAST message annually. Award period will be adjusted based on calendar year (January-December).
Presentation: The award will be presented at an appropriate ceremony at the district command closest to the winner.