Arch Griffin – Terry O’Brien Memorial Leadership Award (formerly Arch Griffin Leadership Award)

In 2005, our class created the Arch Griffin Leadership Award on our class namesake ship, the USS PORTER (DDG-78).  For the Class, the Award was created to honor our longtime class president Arch Griffin and the great USNA Class of ’78.  For the ship, the class sought to provide the Captain with a tool to recognize superior performance. 

In 2021, the Award was renamed the Arch Griffin – Terry O’Brien Memorial Leadership Award to recognize the efforts of our classmate Terry O’Brien to support the PORTER.  First in uniform and then while retired Terry led and shepherded the class’ support of the PORTER which includes not just this leadership award but also the purchase and awarding in the name of our class all Surface Warfare pins earned on the ship.   

There are six annual leadership awardees: a Junior Officer, a Chief Petty Officer, each level of Petty Officer, and an E-3 and Blue Jacket.  Award winners are nominated by peers and selected by a board chaired by the Captain. 

Winners must possess:

  • Motivation and devotion to the Navy
  • Sustained excellence in leadership, personal behavior, and military appearance
  • Exemplary character
  • Superb military and technical performance
  • Strong support of the command’s goals and philosophy

Additionally, as part of the selection process, nominees prepare of one-page essay entitled “What Makes a Leader”

Awardees receive a plaque and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal denoting distinction as an Arch Griffin – Terry O’Brien Memorial Leadership Award recipient.