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Rear Adm. Keith B. Davids, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) announced the winners of NSW’s inaugural Battle Efficiency (“E”) award Jan. 19.
NSW Group One’s SEAL Team 3, NSW Group Two’s SEAL Team 2, NSW Group 4’s Special Boat Team 20, and NSW Group Eight’s Special Reconnaissance Team 1 received the awards for their respective groups.
This year marks the first time in NSW history that individual special operations teams are formally recognized for outstanding operational performance, proficiency in expeditionary skills, and contingency mission readiness in both day-to-day performance and battle readiness.
Rear Adm. Keith Davids, commander, NSWC, said the primary goal of the Battle “E” award competition is to strengthen and evaluate both command and overall force warfighting readiness and that he hopes the award encourages all units to strive for the highest possible level of performance.
“Naval Special Warfare’s people are our greatest strength, and the creation and award of NSW’s inaugural Battle “E” recognizes this truth,” said Davids. “I congratulate every single awardee for upholding the high standards of Naval Special Warfare and demonstrating that operational successes are underpinned by our ability to sustain the highest level of warfighting excellence.”
According to Command Master Chief Daniel Boyles, NSW Group 4, the idea to implement a Battle “E” award program for NSW was initially born from informal discussions with other NSW leaders on how to recognize operational excellence and superior performance within the community. Boyles helped explore the approval process for implementing the award with the command’s administration officer and eventually presented the idea to NSWC for approval.
From there, NSWC’s administrative team worked with the Director, Navy Staff in Washington D.C., who approved delegation of the program in April 2022. By May 2022, the command codified NSWC’s first ever Battle ‘E’ instruction, putting each NSW Group in charge of establishing categories and grading criteria and selecting a winner from their group.
“From previous surface and aviation tours, I have seen commanders effectively use the Battle “E” program to motivate their Sailors performance, instill pride in their work, and use as a marker of excellence to push towards,” said Lt. Paul Stallbaum, the flag secretary to Davids who played a key role in drafting and coordinating the new Battle “E instruction. “The same way a Sailor can be justifiably proud of being part of a Battle ‘E’ squadron or destroyer and the recognition that brings, now our NSW Sailors can do the same when they return to the fleet.”
Now that the NSW Battle “E” award program is officially established and recognized, every year NSW commands will conduct boards, select their winners, and forward results to NSWC by December 1. Winners will be announced via official message on or about January 15.