Sumner Kimball

1335 Words 6 Pages
These are the words spoken by Sumner Kimball when asked to describe the type of man that he wanted to staff his lifeboat stations. Sumner Kimball was an ethical and visionary leader. He established and championed a simple yet revolutionary plan for developing the country’s professional maritime lifesaving service. According to the book The U.S. Lifesaving Service (Heroes, Rescues, and Architecture of the early Coast Guard) by Ralph Shanks “he was concerned with acquiring quality personnel, building new stations nationwide, and improving rescue equipment.” I am going to describe how he accomplished these ideals utilizing a transformational leadership style, and developed a foundation of professionalism from which to build from. Additionally, …show more content…
As a matter of fact, his uncompromising ethical beliefs are what got him hired as the Head of the Revenue Marine in the first place. In the summer of 1878, Sumner Kimball had a big problem on his hands. As detailed in the book “Fire on the Beach” by David Wright, due to a series of neglectful lifesaving failures along the North Carolina coast “the public had latched onto the image of lifesavers fumbling with equipment while bloated corpses washed ashore”. Mr. Kimball launched an investigation into these failures and found that the men tasked with manning the responsible stations had actually been absent from their post. It is reported that they were out “fire lighting” or illegally duck hunting after dark in order to gather meat to sell for profit at the local market. Facing political pressure to look the other way, Mr. Kimball fired the keeper at the Pea Island Station. Mr. Kimball’s deputy, Second Lieutenant Frank Newcomb had a suggestion for a replacement of the ousted keeper. The man he had in mind was named Richard Etheridge. Again, According to the book Fire on the Beach by David Wright, Mr. Etheridge was a proficient reader and writer, he was sharp, dedicated, and he was a military man that fought for the North in the Civil War. However there was one major issue with Mr. Etheridge according to Lieutenant Newcomb, he was a black man. Hiring a person of color to a leadership position was unheard of, especially in reconstruction era North Carolina. There is no doubt that Sumner Kimball used all 8 of the components of the Universal Intellectual Standards from our “Critical Thinking” lesson when deliberating this man’s ability to carry out the job, but I am going to focus on the standard of logic. Did it make logical sense to hire an educated, sharp, dedicated and intelligent military man as the new keeper? Of course it did. The text from the “Ethical Leadership” lesson identified the

Related Documents