RADM Jack M. Darby Award

Established in 1986, The Rear Admiral Jack N. Darby Award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence of Command recognizes a submarine officer who has displayed exceptional leadership in command. One award is presented annually.

Read about RADM Jack N. Darby

2023 Darby Award Winner:

CDR Scott A. Bresnahan, USN

for exceptionally meritorious service as Commanding Officer on USS Indiana (SSN 789).

Commander Bresnahan prepared the Indiana crew for deployment with exceptional vigor ensuring the ship could meet all possible contingencies in the heightened EUCOM environment of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022. While deployed, his team delivered flawless results across the full spectrum of submarine operations including several missions vital to national security. Commander Bresnahan took aggressive action through personal leadership cultivating the ideals of ownership and accountability. As a personal initiative he encouraged commands in shipyard availabilities to send sailors and officers to Indiana. Many commands took up this opportunity during Indiana’s 2022 deployment. Temporary assigned shipmates included six junior officers, two department heads, one engineering duty officer, and one female senior chief petty officer. He embodies the four pillars of his command philosophy (Humble, Hungry, Tough, and Family) at the center of everything he strives to do. Indiana rates as one of the top leaders in retention of officers and sailors. His leadership culture assures that each crew member takes care of each other, and all feel free to provide an open dialogue with the command team.

Commander Bresnahan is most deserving of recognition by the Naval Submarine League to receive the Rear Admiral Jack N. Darby Award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence of Command.


RADM Jack N. Darby

RADM Jack N Darby

Jack Darby was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, upon graduation from the University of Colorado in 1958. He first served in USS John S. McCain (DL 3). Following Submarine School in 1961, he reported to USS Caiman (SS 323). He qualified in submarines in Caiman, was accepted into the Nuclear Power Program, and completed a year of training in May 1964. He next served in USS Dace (SSN 607) and then USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN 600), where he fleeted up to Executive Officer. Command of USS Thomas Jefferson (SSBN 618) was followed by command of USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN 640).
He went on to serve as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Submarine Warfare, Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, Commander Submarine Squadron TEN and Deputy Director Attack Submarine Division, OPNAV, where he was selected for flag rank. Rear Admiral Darby went on to be Deputy for Politico-Military Affairs in the Plans and Policy Directorate, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In June 1985, Rear Admiral Darby assumed command of the Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The Naval Submarine League annual leadership award honors this dynamic and inspirational officer. Throughout his naval career, Jack Darby instilled a sense of purpose and dedication to excellence in all who served with him. His devotion to duty, his uncompromised integrity, and his exemplary personal manner epitomizes the qualities one identifies with the term “command presence.” His assignment as Commandant of Midshipmen was particularly appropriate since it gave then Captain Darby the opportunity to touch the lives and careers of so many aspiring young officers. His last command, the Pacific Submarine Force, once again allowed him to influence directly officers in command of the ships of the force.
The commanding officers who are selected for the Naval Submarine League Rear Admiral Jack N. Darby Award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence of Command can be very proud to be thus associated with an exceptional and inspirational leader.


Previous Recipients

2022 Darby Award Winner: CDR Joseph L. Campbell, USN