GREAT LAKES (NNS) — The commander of Navy Region Midwest was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America April 28.
The award was presented to Rear Adm. Douglas T. Biesel by his former Scoutmaster Thom Helmacy of Coudersbort, Pa., during the 2009 Northeastern Illinois Council Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner at Naval Station Great Lakes.
The award is granted to Eagle Scouts who, after 25 years, have distinguished themselves in their life work and who have shared their talents with their communities on a voluntary basis.
“I challenge you to think about integrity as you are faced with challenges; do not compromise your integrity because it’s rare if at all possible to get it back,” Biesel told the new Eagle Scouts. “Without integrity all other attributes are nothing.”
Biesel, who earned his Eagle Scout in 1972 in has distinguished himself throughout his career as a naval officer.
“We are so pleased and honored to learn of the selection of Admiral Biesel by our National Boy Scouts of America organization for the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award,” said John H. Mosby, chief executive officer, Northeast Illinois Council, Boy Scouts of America.
“In studying the history of the award since its inception in 1969, only the highest quality of individuals have been selected for this distinct and rare award, and Admiral Biesel most certainly fits that mold.”
The National Eagle Scout Association Committee selects the award recipients. The members of the selection committee are all recipients of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
“Admiral Biesel’s leadership by example and personal ethical and moral values reflects the same standards we apply in scouting, and so it is a natural choice for him to have been selected for this honor,” Mosby said.
“The relationship between the Navy and the Boy Scouts has been long-standing, especially here locally. Admiral Biesel has been a key part in continuing that strong relationship since arriving here earlier this year.”
In addressing this year’s Eagle Scouts, Biesel challenged them to lead by example.
“Lead by example; mentor others, and congratulations to all the new Eagle Scouts. God bless you, your families and the Navy and the finest country on the earth,” Biesel said. “I am really, really honored. Thank you for this distinguished Eagle Scout award. It has been a great pleasure serving this great nation as a naval officer.”
The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award was implemented in 1969 and since that time approximately 1,793 nominations have been approved. Only the local council of the Eagle Scout’s principal residence may nominate. Nominations may not be made for posthumous awards.
“I am really, really honored. Thank you for this distinguished Eagle Scout award,” Biesel said. “It has been a great pleasure serving this great nation as a naval officer.”
Distinguished Eagle Scouts include former President Gerald R. Ford, former Chiefs of Naval Operations Adm. Jay L. Johnson, Adm. Carlisle Trost and Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, Jr.; astronauts and naval aviators Neil Armstrong and Capt. James Lovell and Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld.
Biesel enlisted in the Navy in 1975 and attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, R.I. Following NAPS, he graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1980 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and was designated a naval submarine warfare officer in 1983.
Following nuclear power training, he completed sea assignments aboard USS Lapon (SSN 661), USS Michigan (SSBN 727-Blue), USS Annapolis (SSN 760) and a command tour aboard USS Philadelphia (SSN 690). He has also served on numerous staffs and as commander of Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Wash. Prior to assuming command at Navy Region Midwest, he served on the staff of the chief of naval operations in programming and budgeting.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Midwest/Naval Station Great Lakes, visit www.navy.mil/local/midwest/.
The following story was written by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Thomas J. Miller.