2011 LEON A. EDNEY
January 25, 2011 Shiley Theatre, Camino Hall 1830
Fourteenth Annual Stockdale Leadership Symposium
Guest Speaker: Leon A. Edney
Lt. Col Mike Arnold, Vice Admiral (Ret) Edney, and Captain Ault (from left to right)
On January 25, 2011, the 14th, the Annual James B. Stockdale Symposium, sponsored by the University of San Diego (USD) and the San Diego Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC), was held at USD’s Shiley Theatre.
Dean Paula Cordeiro, Dean of USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences opened the event, and Captain William Ault, Commanding Officer of NROTC San Diego, introduced the keynote speaker, Vice Admiral (Ret.) Leon Edney.
Admiral Edney commissioned as a Naval Officer at the United States Naval Academy in 1957, serving 35 years until he retired in 1992 after having served as North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander and Commander in Chief of the United States Atlantic Command. Previous occupations that Admiral Edney held include Chief of Naval Operations, Director of Aviation Plans and Requirements, Commander of Carrier Group One, Chief of Naval Personnel, Director for the Office of Program Appraisal for the Secretary of the Navy, Commanding Officer of the USS Constellation (CV 64), and Commander of Carrier Air Wing Two. He also served as a White House Fellow in 1970.
His address, titled “A Nation at War, the Common Defense” cultivated the moral and ethical issues facing military officers in the fleet. His emphasis addressed the subject of a military requirement for maintaining both ethical and moral leadership. After Admiral Edney’s speech, he opened the floor to a question and answer forum to over 400 educators, scholars, students, and military personnel.
The Stockdale Symposium, named for the late Vice Admiral Stockdale, gives members of the university, former and active duty military personnel, and the public the opportunity to discuss moral issues in leadership. While serving as the commander of Carrier Air Wing 16 on board USS Oriskany (CV 34), he was shot down over enemy territory and held captive at Hoa Lo prison – the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” as a POW for seven years where he survived the unimaginable brutal conditions. Stockdale was the highest ranking naval officer Vietnam War POW. During his incarceration, he refused to commit treason upon his country in exchange for better treatment. Instead, he chose to remain loyal to his country and fellow POWs. He was one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the Navy, with 26 personal combat decorations, including four Silver Star medals, in addition to the Medal of Honor. The Stockdale legacy is about the development of an ethical core and moral leadership, something he envisioned in all future military officers.