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During the Vietnam War, Howe, as a Combat Information Center watch officer responsible for enemy detection and defense, effectively managed the personnel under his supervision when an unidentified air craft coming over the border from China was detected by his ship's radar heading in direction of the 7th Fleet four carrier battle group in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Chief petty officers who qualify for major shipboard watch stations such as officer of the deck, junior officer of the deck, tactical action officer, combat information center watch officer, engineering officer of the watch, chief of the watch, safe for flight and others, demonstrate leadership.