- The United Seamen’s Service 51st annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Award took place virtually on December 9, 2020.
- This year’s presentation highlighted the service of the entire American maritime community to the nation.
- Special recognition given to four pillars of the community; the U.S. Maritime Administration; merchant mariners; U.S.-flag shipping companies and longshoremen.
The traditional silver statuette of Christopher Columbus—the first Admiral of the Ocean Sea– was accepted by The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, on behalf of the honorees. The statuette will bow have a permanent home displayed at MARAD Headquarters in Washington, DC, says an article published in Crowley.
During the event, which was recorded and is available above, Tom Crowley, Chairman and CEO addressed the attendees thanking them for their service and partnership during this trying year. Tom Crowley takes the stage at the 11:10 mark in the video and his transcript is as follows:
“Before I share my thoughts, I’d like to thank Madam Secretary, the Honorable Elaine Chao for all she has done to support the U.S. maritime industry. Her leadership of the Department of Transportation has been exemplary in these trying times – and she is the most deserving person to receive the 51st annual AOTOS award on behalf of the industry and its mariners.
I’d also like to recognize the great work of Admiral Buzby and his team. The cadence of Marad’s industry-wide conference calls, led by Admiral Buzby throughout the pandemic have been invaluable in bringing key stakeholders together to share creative ideas and best practices. The outcomes of those discussions have done much to keep mariners and shoreside personnel safe – while ensuring that supply chains have remained open and flexible.”
Trying times during pandemic
On shore, the administrative teams have also done a remarkable job adapting to the new normal. COVID forced their hand, and by leveraging their people’s ingenuity, as well as their investments in technology, they have been remarkably successful in adapting their work processes. Essential supply chains remain robust and that is good news for everyone.
COVID awareness and prevention have become added layers of defense in the safety programs. The availability of PPE and timely testing and test result availability continues to be a challenge, although it is better than it was at the start of the pandemic.
The nation’s mariners play a vital role for the economy and the national defense. They live and work in close quarters onboard vessels and their protection must be our first priority. The integrity of the supply chains for food, medicines, essential goods and military equipment depends on it. Prioritizing mariners for testing and early vaccination will do much to avoid supply chain disruption.
The CEO said, “To our mariners, Secretary Chao, Admiral Buzby and all the stakeholders in our industry, thank you for all that you do.”
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