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Faller Forrestal

SOUTHCOM Commander Delivers Forrestal Lecture at USNA

  POSTED ON: Monday, October 26, 2020 9:33 AM by

Adm. Craig Faller (USNA 1983), commander of U.S. Southern Command, delivered the second Forrestal Lecture of the 2021 academic year at the United States Naval Academy, Oct. 14.

The lecture was the first of the 2021 series to be presented in-person at Alumni Hall, and attendance was primarily limited to members of the Class of 2022. For the remainder of the brigade, faculty, and staff, the event was broadcast online. 

Faller focused on how morality and ethical trust are key to becoming an effective leader.

“Look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘Who trusts me?’,” said Faller. “It’s a good test to see if your moral compass aligns with your ethical North Star. Always stay committed to your ethical North Star. It's what will lead you in the right direction."

 Faller explained that as a leader, things may not always go smoothly as a junior officer.

“To be a successful leader you have to make that hard choice,” said Faller. “I’m talking about doing the right thing even when it’s hard.” 

When asked how to gain the trust of Sailors as a newly commissioned officer, Faller advised the future leaders to take genuine interest in their Sailors. 

“Learn about them, and strive to understand them,” said Faller. “Learn what drives them. Everyone has their own struggles, and you should be actively finding out what it is. Help them overcome that, and in turn they may help you overcome your own struggles in ways that you never knew.”

Faller added, as the head of a unit, leaders must prove they are worthy of being trusted. 

"What Admiral Faller said about looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking about who trusts you really resonated with me because trust is such a foundational component of leadership and life itself,” said Midshipman 2nd Class Heather Feldmann. “This self-reflection both humbled and inspired me to pour more of myself into building genuine relationships with my friends, company mates, and future Sailors.”

Midshipmen traditionally present the Forrestal speaker with a token gift as thanks for their time and participation in the lecture. Faller was presented with a personalized USNA track jacket which he donned before the closing remarks and the singing of “Navy Blue and Gold.”

The Forrestal Lecture Series was established in 1970 to honor James V. Forrestal, the first Secretary of Defense. The purpose of the series is to enhance the education, awareness, and appreciation of the Brigade of Midshipmen for the social, political, and cultural dimensions of the Nation and the world.

As the undergraduate college of our country's naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Category: General Interest, Press Releases, People