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Roberts native wins Navy excellence award

Cmdr. Brian Sittlow is being honored with the Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award. The award is peer-nominated.

ROBERTS - Cmdr. Brian Sittlow of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force, a Roberts native, is being honored with a prestigious peer-nominated award, recognizing the highest standard of excellence in personal character, example and leadership.

Sittlow is the commander of the submarine USS Boise, which is based at Naval Station, Norfolk, Va.

Sittlow is receiving the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award (Stockdale Leadership Award), an annual award established by the U.S. Navy more than 30 years ago.According to a press release from the Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs Office, Stockdale was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, who relied upon his leadership skills to help himself and a group of around 11 others survive the POW camp. The award is presented to two commissioned officers yearly.

Candidates for the Stockdale Leadership award need to be nominated by their peers who must also be eligible for the award.

Sittlow was nominated by Cmdr. Seth Burton, commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756), also home ported in Norfolk, Va.

"Cmdr. Sittlow embodies all personal aspects for the Stockdale Leadership Award and USS Boise's numerous accomplishments and readiness to conduct deployed operations are a direct result of his dedicated leadership initiatives," said Burton in his nomination letter. "I have observed his calm but inspirational leadership and stalwart dedication to constant improvement across numerous lines of operation."

Sittlow took command of the Boise On Jan. 22, 2010. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993 with a BS in marine engineering, and earned an MA in national security and strategic studies in 2009 from the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Sittlow is also a 1989 graduate of St. Croix Central high school. His parents, Michael and Darlene Sittlow (Roberts), said they were very proud to find out about Sittlow's award.

"He's always been a leader, even through high school," said Michael Sittlow.

Michael Sittlow said his son is dedicated, and a hard worker. He said he knows his son will be a bit uncomfortable with all the attention from the award.

"He's pretty humble," Michael Sittlow said. "He likes awards for the whole boat, not just for him.

"I'm very proud of him," said Cmdr. Brian Sittlow's wife Leslie Sittlow, "it's quite an honor."

Leslie said she feels the Stockdale Leadership award is special because it is peer-nominated, and she felt her husband definitely deserves it due to his excellent leadership capabilities.

"He is quite an honorable man," said Leslie Sittlow," and very dedicated and hard-working, and he's very well grounded."

Cmdr. Brian Sittlow's submarine, the Boise, is a fast-attack submarine, whichmeans it has complex responsibilities, including supporting special force operations, disrupting and destroying adversaries' military and economic operations at sea, and ensuring undersea superiority.