The van Beuren Leadership and Ethics Series

The van Beuren Studies in Leadership and Ethics series was established to advance scholarship and publish thought-provoking works of analysis in the fields of leadership and ethics, with special attention to their application to the military; to further CNO initiatives in leadership and ethics; to help educate Naval War College students; and to help inform the joint force.

The Naval War College and the Naval War College Press thank the Naval War College Foundation and the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust for their generous support.

Inspiring Innovation: Examining the Operational, Policy, and Technical Contributions Made by Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr. and his Successors, by Lieutenant Commander Robert Crosby. This is the first volume in a new series, the John A. van Beuren Studies in Leadership and Ethics.

Inspiring Innovation pays tribute to the distinguished service and professional achievements of African American admirals and senior leaders in the Navy. This is the first comprehensive study of U.S. Navy admirals who followed in the trail blazed by Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr., the First African American to attain flag rank in the Navy.

This book captures the personal stories of the admirals and leaders who became officers in a Navy that struggled to become more representative of the American people. Their individual experiences illustrate the early hurdles the admirals encountered and how they overcame these—in some cases institutionalized—barriers. Their perseverance enabled them to open doors once closed to African American servicemen and continue on to great success. Gravely's successors were and remain true patriots; placing their country above themselves, they prevailed in rising to highest levels of leadership in the Navy.

Each of these stories of honor, commitment, and moral courage offers inspiration to all who may follow in Gravely's path of extraordinary professional achievement and senior leadership. Inspiring Innovation provides a wonderful and necessary lesson in U.S. history, instilling hope and faith in America.

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