Distinguished Submariner Award

The Naval Submarine League Distinguished Submariner Award recognizes the personal contributions of a Naval Officer, whose contributions have been of extraordinary value to the success of the United States Navy's submarine programs. The award is to be made to the most deserving individual when considering the entire history of the submarine program. This award was originally established in 1983 as the Submarine Hero Award, and renamed in 2000 as the Distinguished Submariner Award.

2013 Award Winners

The Naval Submarine League
Outstanding and Continued Support of the Submarine Service
For the year 2013

Admiral Frank B. Kelso II,
United States Navy (Retired) posthumously

 For Service as set forth in the following

For outstanding and meritorious service in support of the navy and the submarine force. Highly successful assignments within the submarine force marked him as a talented and dynamic leader destined to achieve the highest leadership positions in the navy. Submarine and submarine staff assignments include: SABALO, Nuclear power program training and staff duty, POLLACK, DANIEL WEBSTER, SCULPIN, Commanding Officer Naval Nuclear Power School Bainbridge, Commanding Officer FINBACK, Comsublant, Commanding Officer BLUEFISH, Commander Squadron 7, and as a new flag officer as Director, Strategic Submarine Division within the Office of CNO. Admiral Kelso continued to serve with distinction in staff assignments in the fleet and the pentagon. These led to his assignment as Commander Sixth Fleet. It was under his command that Navy fliers helped capture the highjackers of the Italian ship, Achille Lauro, and launched raids on Libya in defiance of Libya’s claim of territorial waters into the Gulf of Sidra. Following that successful assignment he assumed duties as Commander in Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet. He became the 24th Chief of Naval Operations in June 1990. As CNO he guided the Navy through times of war and significant drawdown of forces at the end of the cold war. It was his strength of character and superior integrity that ensured his success throughout his career. Admiral Kelso leaves behind a better Navy due to his leadership and faithful commitment to our Sailors, Civilians and families. It is most appropriate that his dedicated service is recognized posthumously by the Naval Submarine League.

Vice Admiral E. A. Burkhalter, Jr.,
United States Navy (Retired)

 For Service as set forth in the following

For outstanding and continuing meritorious service in support of the submarine force and the U. S. Intelligence services. VADM Burkhalter’s distinguished submarine service included submarine assignments in TROUT (SS 566), SEADRAGON (SSN 584), ALEXANDER HAMILTON (SSBN 617), and Commanding Officer in SKATE (SSN 571). He was thenavigator in SEADRAGON during the undersea crossing of the “Northwest Passage” which included the second submarine surfacing at the North Pole. His postcommand assignments included duties as Commander Submarine Division 101, the first nuclear attack division in SUBLANT, and Commander (SUBRON 22) inLaMaddalena, Sardinia. His effective interpersonal community relationships there resulted with him being known as the “American Mayor.” Assignments as the Deputy Director, Naval Intelligence served as a springboard into positions of increased responsibility in the Intelligence Community. After duty on the joint staff he was assigned as Commander Naval Intelligence Command. A tour as Chief of Staff and Deputy Director in the Defense Intelligence Agency followed. Later assignments included assignments as Director Intelligence Community Staff and senior military advisor to the Director, Central Intelligence (DCI). After retirement in 1986 he has provided advice and counsel to the DCI, where he assisted in developing the first DRONE, the CIA, senior government leadership and the submarine community. It is most appropriate that his dedicated service is recognized by the Naval Submarine League as the Distinguished Submariner for 2013.


Naval Submarine League
Distinguished Submarine Award
Past Winners
Year Distinguished Submariner Award
2012 VADM Patrick J. Hannifin, USN (Ret)
2011 ADM Kinnaird R. McKee, USN (Ret)
2010 VADM Joe Williams, Jr., USN (Ret)
2009 Team Submarine
2008 Submarine Force Master & Senior CPO’s & COB's
2007 Submarine Medal of Honor Winners
2006 Robert H. Wertheim
2005 Carlisle A. H. Trost
2004 The Submarine Family
2003 William J Crowe, Jr.
2002 James D. "Jim" Watkins
2001 Edward L. "Ned" Beach
2000 WW II Submariners
Year Submarine Hero Award
1999 James F. Calvert
1998 Arnold F. "Arnie" Schade
1997 Robert L. J. "Bob" Long
1996 Dennis Wilkinson
1995 Eli Reich
1994 John S. "Jack" Coye
1993 Mrs. Patricia Lee Lewis
1992 Slade D. Cutter
1991 William T. "Bill" Kinsella
1990 Dick O'Kane
1989 George L. Street III
1988 Roy S. Benson
1987 I. J. "Pete" Galantin
1986 Frederick B. "Fred" Warder
1985 Eugene B. "Gene" Fluckey
1984 Bernard A. "Chick" Clarey
1983 Lawson P. "Red" Ramage
Is pleased to present the





















NOTE: Specific award criteria and related information for the Darby, Lister, Lockwood, Reynolds, Smith, Warder, Dolphin Awards and PG School Award is provided in COMSUBFOR INSTRUCTION 1650.6.