When the U.S. nuclear submarine USS Greeneville collided with a Japanese fishing boat in February 2001, the story made international headlines. Navy Commander Scott Waddle, captain of the 9,000 ton Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, was at the center of the controversy. Against the advice of his lawyer … against the direction of the Navy … Scott Waddle followed his conscience. Unlike many other leaders in the public eye who have denied or made excuses for their behavior, Waddle stood boldly and took complete responsibility for his actions.
The support of his family and his steadfast faith in God strengthened him through his ordeal. And his deep remorse compelled him to offer a sincere apology to the victims’ families. Waddle’s pursuit of integrity against all odds provides an inspiring challenge to anyone facing difficult choices in life. An true leader with uncompromising ethical standards, Scott Waddle, who graduated at the top of his class at Annapolis, retired from active duty in October 2001 with the rank of commander. Today Waddle is an inspirational speaker, consultant and executive coach who has presented to thousands of audiences nationwide and abroad.
Failure Is Not Final
An inspirational leader with uncompromising ethical standards, Scott Waddle graduated at the top of his class at Annapolis. With 20 years of experience in the construction, maintenance and operation of nuclear-powered submarines, in 1998 he was handpicked from a highly competitive field of 250 naval officers to command the improved Los Angeles class Fast Attack nuclear submarine USS Greeneville. As commanding officer of Greeneville, he managed a 140-man crew. On the fateful day of February 9, 2001, Commander Waddle’s life was forever changed when he gave the order to perform an emergency surface maneuver that inadvertently caused the nine-thousand ton submarine to collide with the Ehime Maru, a 500 ton Japanese fishing vessel, killing nine people on board. Against the advice of his attorney and the Navy’s direction, he took responsibility for the accident. Commander Waddle’s compelling story about a tragic ordeal and the choices that followed is a lesson about integrity, faith and resilience.
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Scott Waddle, a native of Austin, Texas, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1981, earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry. Following graduation he was commissioned an Ensign and embarked on a twenty- year career in the submarine force, serving aboard Atlantic Fleet Trident Ballistic Missile boats Alabama and Kentucky and Pacific Fleet fast attacks San Francisco and Greeneville.
In June of 1998, after earning a Masters of Science degree from the National Defense University in Washington D.C., Scott Waddle was hand picked from a highly competitive field of 250 officers to command the USS Greeneville, an
improved Los Angeles class fast attack submarine. In March of 1999 Waddle became the Commanding Officer of the Greeneville in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
On the fateful day of February 9, 2001, Commander Waddle’s life was forever changed when he gave the order to perform an emergency surface maneuver that inadvertently caused the 9,000 ton submarine to collide with the Ehime Maru, a 500 ton Japanese fishing vessel, killing nine people on board.
Against the advice of his attorney and the Navy’s direction, Scott Waddle took responsibility for the accident. In October of 2001 he was honorably discharged from the Navy and retired from active duty as a Commander.
Scott Waddle is an inspirational speaker, consultant and executive coach who has presented to thousands of audiences nationwide and abroad.