Reflecting on the Service of Our Civilian Sailors

Admiral Mark Ferguson
Vice Chief of Naval Operations

In a message to the fleet, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mark Ferguson took time today to recognize and thank U.S. Navy Civilian Sailors for their contributions every day to the defense of freedom. He believes civilians play a critical role in Navy operational readiness and, with their uniformed counterparts, are an essential element of the greater Navy family.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), Adm. Mark Ferguson (center), receives a tour of Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella’s water treatment facility July 26, from Capt. Christopher Dennis (right), NAS Sigonella commanding officer.  During the visit, Adm. Ferguson met with service members stationed aboard NAS Sigonella along with representatives from the installation’s organizations.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), Adm. Mark Ferguson (center), receives a tour of Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella’s water treatment facility July 26, from Capt. Christopher Dennis (right), NAS Sigonella commanding officer. During the visit, Adm. Ferguson met with service members and civilians stationed aboard NAS Sigonella.

 

Over the course of my career, I have had the privilege to work closely with many of our Navy civilians. I’d like to share a few thoughts on their contributions to the Navy as we mourn the loss of our shipmates.

Like our submarines, friendships in our profession run deep. They arise between honorable men and women who share the spirit to endure a harsh and unforgiving environment, a commitment to freedom and service, and a belief that our shared prosperity depends on freedom of the seas.

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus speaks to Washington Navy Yard personnel Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 during their first day back to work.

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus speaks to Washington Navy Yard personnel Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 during their first day back to work.

 

Today, the Navy has over 177,000 Civilian Sailors. They design, build and repair our ships, submarines, aircraft, and systems. They deploy alongside active duty and reserve members of the force. They care for the wounded in our hospitals and our children while we are at work.  They support our daily operations and operate our bases. They are essential to our mission and contribute to the vitality and readiness of our Navy. They are our shipmates. They are our family.

We suffered a great loss this week. The victims at the Washington Navy Yard represented decades of service to the Navy and shared in the fellowship that is unique to the sea services.

This time of tragedy reminds us to acknowledge every day the contributions, both great and small, of Civilian Sailors to our Navy.