June 16, 2009
Navy League honors Captain Richard Phillips
The Navy League of the United States has presented Capt. Richard Phillips the Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award.
"The Arleigh Burke Leadership Award is our most prestigious award," said J. Michael McGrath, national president of the Navy League. "[We are proud] to recognize such a hero [as Captain Phillips].
Phillips was the master of MV Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked in April by Somali pirates. To ensure that his crew was released, he offered himself to the pirates as a hostage. U.S. naval forces, including SEALS, rescued him on April 12.
"It's truly incredible to be chosen for this, I don't see myself as a hero... to be honored by this group is truly an honor," Phillips said.
U.S. naval forces, including SEALS, rescued Phillips April 12.
"I think in September I'm looking to get back in my rotation... I think I'm still on the Maersk Alabama, so wherever the ship is, I intend to be there," said Phillips. "With the right assets and the Navy still there, I have no problem going back to that same run."
The Burke award, the Navy League's most prestigious leadership award, is named for Navy Admiral Arleigh Burke. The organization believes Burke was an American hero whose achievements, ethical standards, and unselfish dedication personify all that is noble in the American character.
"[When determining the recipient, we] look at the leadership traits of the person and how he has demonstrated them over a long period of time," said McGrath. [Just look at Captain Phillips] who has been at sea a long time, travelled many many miles around the world and had the most demanding jobs."