I am humbled and honored to be your Chief of Naval Operations. Together, we are part of the greatest navy in the world. Everyone on our team – officers and enlisted Sailors, active and reserve, uniformed and civilian – plays an important part in making sure we not only remain the greatest navy in the world, but that we get even better.
For the first time in a very long time, we face serious challenges at sea around the world. For decades, we took for granted that no other blue-water navy would dare take us on. That’s no longer true.
The U.S. Navy has been and will continue to be a global force for security and stability. But there are other nations who would use their maritime forces to threaten the freedom of the seas to intimidate their neighbors or to coerce others in violation of international law. Those maritime forces are growing in numbers and in strength. Still others know they cannot take us on at sea but will try to attack our Navy in areas like cyber.
Rapidly modernizing our Navy and keeping pace with technology will remain a priority for us. But I still believe what my first chief told me, that people are our most important weapons system. A well-trained force is our competitive advantage. I look forward to hearing from leaders at every level at how we can continue to make improvements for Sailors and their families.
And I have a great sense of urgency to get after solutions to the challenges we face.
In the coming weeks, my FIRST priority will be visiting with many of you. I will work with our leaders in the fleets, with our Marine Corps teammates and with our other joint service and international partners as we develop our way ahead to meet these challenges.
We will question our assumptions. We will think differently about the competition we are now in. We will be the Navy the nation needs now, and we will build the Navy the nation needs to fight and win in the future.
What remain constant are our core values of honor, courage and commitment. We will remain true to our core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness. We will remain the premier Navy in the world, and I know we will be even better tomorrow than we are today.
Thank you for all you do for our Navy and for each other. I’ll see you out in the fleet.
Adm. Mike Gilday