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.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert reviews the Brigade of Midshipmen
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 22, 2014) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert reviews the Brigade of Midshipmen as they march by during the U.S. Naval Academy Color Parade at Worden Field at the Naval Academy. The time honored tradition was established in 1867 and comes with great anticipation as it is the last full dress parade for graduating class members who will receive their commissions the next day and go on to serve as leaders in the Navy or Marine Corps. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released) 140522-N-WL435-466

Cover image for Inspiring Innovation

The van Beuren Studies in Leadership and Ethics, Number 1

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.

Book release events:

February 9, 2018Inspiring Innovation will be introduced at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards STEM Conference, the first nationally recognized Black History Month event at which the Navy will have senior leader engagement on inclusion and diversity. The Chief of Naval Research and the commander of Navy Recruiting Command will represent the Navy, along with Washington, D.C. area flag officers and Senior Executive Service members. The author of Inspiring Innovation, Lieutenant Commander Robert Crosby, and Professor William F. Bundy will be joined by admirals and other leaders featured in the study at the Navy Recruiting display located in the BEYA STEM Conference Career Fair. They will be available to address gatherings and to sign and distribute copies of Inspiring Innovation. The event will start at 1330 and conclude at 1500.

On February 25, 2018—The U.S. Naval Academy will host African American admirals and Marine Corps generals to conduct a panel discussion on Inspiring Innovation. The panel discussion will be followed by a speed mentoring session and a Black History Month banquet. Lieutenant Commander Robert Crosby will attend this U.S. Naval Academy celebration of black history.

View Inspiring Innovation  View Citations

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Inspiring Innovation and additional selected Press publications can be purchased through the Government Publishing Office.