Chief Paul Golden Saunders Award

The Naval Submarine League Chief Paul Golden Saunders Award for Submarine Professional Excellence recognizes Chief Petty Officers (Active or Reserve) for achievement, contribution, specific action or consistent performance, which best exemplifies the traditional spirit embodied in the Submarine Force.

Read about Chief Paul Golden Saunders

2023 Saunders Award Winner:

FTC(SS) Michael L. Daniels, USN


for superior professional excellence as Weapons Department Enlisted Advisor on USS West Virginia (SSBN 736) (GOLD).

Chief Daniels demonstrates outstanding leadership and dedication. He is a self-motivated team player. His deck plate leadership, uncompromising standards, and technical expertise are the driving factors in the sustained superior performance of Fire Control and Torpedo Division in West Virginia (GOLD). His division retention and advancement rates are 30% higher than the Navy average. He supervised the training and mentorship of 55 sailors resulting in 100% advancement across his department. Two Sailors of the Quarter, and a Junior Sailor of the Quarter were also the results of his effort. He is a most talented Diving Officer of the Watch. He created and executed a most robust training plan for all ship control watch teams to ensure safe operations during a CENTCOM deployment. His level of knowledge and training plan ensured the ship expertly completed its primary mission of strategic deterrence. His leadership and managerial skills ensured that his divisions received the highest outstanding marks during a Combat Readiness Evaluation. He is a relentless problem-solver who resolves any issue. He is always on the deck plate leading from the front, providing sound guidance in the most professional manner to both junior and senior Sailors alike. His military bearing is exemplary. He sets and upholds the highest standards every day and is always willing to devote his time to helping shipmates. He displays a confidence, strength of character, perseverance, and humility that is admired by all.

Chief Daniels is most deserving of recognition by the Naval Submarine League to receive the Chief Paul Golden Saunders Award for Submarine Professional Excellence.


Chief Paul Golden Saunders

Chief Paul Golden Saunders

Chief Paul Golden Saunders was a highly decorated United States Navy submarine sailor who was twice awarded the Silver Star medal during World War II.He enlisted in the Navy in 1936 and served for 26 years before retiring as GMGC(SS) in 1962. Prior to submarines, Chief Saunders served on the light cruiser USS RALEIGH (CL-7) and on destroyers MCCOOK (DD-252) and SAMPSON (DD-394).

Paul qualified in submarines aboard R-4 (SS-81) in 1940 and subsequently served in BARB (SS-220), CUSK (SS-348), CARBONERO (SS-337), and THEODORE ROOSEVELT (SSBN-600).

The only landing of US military forces on the island of Japan during hostilities included Saunders. They destroyed a 16-car train on the coastal railway with an explosive charge, using a microswitch under the rails to trigger the explosion.

Paul was highly regarded as one of the most decorated enlisted men in the Submarine Service, distinguishing himself during World War II while serving on board the BARB. Paul made all twelve of BARB’s war patrols, five in the Atlantic and seven in the Pacific and was Chief of the Boat (COB) for patrols #9–12. He was also COB for the submarines CUSK, CARBONERO and THEODORE ROOSEVELT.


Previous Recipients

2022 Saunders Award Winner: STSCS (SS) Christopher D. Moulthrop, USN