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Navy Leadership 

The colors pass in review

The colors pass in review during an orientation exhibit by the Seventh Air Force at Oahu, Hawaii, April 1944. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, CinCPac, in whites at left end of first line, and other officers attended. Copyright Owner: Naval History and Heritage Command. (NH 58012)

Top leaders inspire their teams to perform at or near their theoretical limits. By making their teams stronger, they relentlessly chase “best ever” performance. They study every text, try every method, seize every moment, and expend every effort to outfox their competition. They ceaselessly communicate, train, test, and challenge their teams. They are toughest on themselves; they routinely seek out feedback, and are ready to be shown their errors in the interest of learning and getting better. When they win, they are grateful, humble, and spent from their effort. By doing all these things, great leaders bring their teams to a deeply shared commitment to each other in the pursuit of victory.

 - excerpt from Navy Leader Development Framework, version 2.0 April 2018


Historical Leadership

Further Reading



Additional Resources

Selected Imagery

John Paul Jones (1747-1792)

Mezzotint of John Paul Jones by anonymous artist. Description: Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. (NH 63944)

David G. Farragut

David G. Farragut. Original Creator: Sebastianiette and Bengue of Trieste, photographers. (NH 85517)

Rear Admiral George Dewey, Commander of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron

Rear Admiral George Dewey, commander of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron, with officers of his flagship, USS Olympia (C-6), and his staff on board Olympia in Manila Bay circa 20 May-1 June 1898. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. (NH 43347)

Navy Department Leadership

Honorable Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, Rear Admiral Samuel McGowan, Paymaster General, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy. (NH 57088)

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, commander in chief, Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, confers with South Pacific area officers, possibly on board USS Argonne (AG-31) at Noumea, New Caledonia, on 28 September 1942. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. (NH 58423)

Seven veteran chief petty officers

Seven veteran chief petty officers of the USS Pennsylvania of the United States Pacific Fleet prove the ancient adage: "men make the Navy." (NH 118954)

Vice Admiral John S. McCain, USN, with his son, Commander John S. McCain, Jr.

Vice Admiral John S. McCain, USN, (center) with his son, Commander John S. McCain, Jr., onboard a U.S. Navy ship (probably USS Proteus (AS-19) in Tokyo Bay, circa 2 September 1945. Admiral McCain died a few days after this photo was taken. Note Japanese submarine in background, just to left of Admiral McCain. Collection of Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. (NH 92607)

MCPON Delbert Black

MCPON Delbert Black. (L38-07.01.02)

Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., USN

Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., USN, chief of naval operations (center background) participates in a question and answer session with U.S. Navy advisors at the Rach Soi Naval Base, Republic of Vietnam, in May 1971. Photographed by PH1 H.P. Shiplett. Note berets worn by Admiral Zumwalt and many of the others present. (NH 97203)

John Barry

President George Washington commissions John Barry, Father of the American Navy, with commission #1 on 22 February 1797. Description: Courtesy of New York Historical Society. Copied from John Barry, Commodore, USN by Joseph Gurn. (NH 2781) 

Stephen Decatur at Tripoli

Stephen Decatur at Tripoli, during the boarding of a Tripolitan gunboat on 3 August 1803. Oil on canvas, 29 by 39, by William A.K. Martin (1817-1867), signed and dated by the artist, 1851. It depicts Lieutenant Stephen Decatur in hand-to-hand combat with a Tripolitan. Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum collection. Gift of friends of the U.S. Navy, 1941. Official U.S. Navy photograph color. (KN-2587)

Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, USN

Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, USN, standing beside a 50-pounder Dahlgren rifle, on board USS Pawnee in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, circa 1863-1865. He was then commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. (NH 63362)

Rear Admiral William S. Sims, USN

Rear Admiral William S. Sims, USN, is best known for commanding American naval forces in Europe during World War I. Sims played a crucial role in the implementation of a convoy system to protect Allied shipping from German U-boats. He is credited with helping to establish harmonious relations between the U.S. and British navies during the war. (NH 2839)

First African-American U.S. Navy Officers

First African-American U.S. Navy officers photographed in February 1944, soon after attaining officer rank in the Naval Reserve. Official U.S. Navy photograph now in the collections of the National Archives. (80-G-300215)

Senior Navy officers visit Saipan

From left to right, Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN, Commander Fifth Fleet; Admiral Ernest J. King, USN, Chief of Naval Operations and Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet; Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas; and Brigadier General Sanderford Jarman, U.S. Army. Aircraft in the background is a B-24/PB4Y-1 type. (80-G-307861)

Captain Grace Hopper

Captain Grace Hopper, head of the Navy Programming Section of the Office of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP 911F), at work in her Washington, D.C. office. (K-115614)

Captain Arleigh A. Burke, USN

Captain Arleigh A. Burke, USN, commanding officer, USS Huntington (CL-107) Inspecting the ship's crew, circa November 1948. Collection of Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, USN. Official U.S. Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. (NH 93205)

ENS Rosemary Conaster (later Mariner)

Ensign Rosemary Mariner Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, makes pre-flight checks of the main gear of a fleet composite squadron two, VC-2, S-2 tracker antisubmarine aircraft. She is a member of the squadron. She would go on to be the first woman to command an operational naval aviation squadron during Operation Desert Storm. (USN 1160872)

Published: Wed Jun 12 11:46:17 EDT 2024