Families, Friends, Shipmates, As the weather begins to cool here in Great Lakes, it tells me that we are well into the school year and the holidays will be quickly approaching. Our first celebration will be the Navy’s 240th Birthday with the theme “Ready Then, Ready Now, Ready Always.”
Our Navy birthday is as an opportunity to tell our Navy’s story. For 240 years, our Navy has continued a proud tradition of service by recruiting and training the highest quality officer and enlisted Sailors to maintain our Navy’s standing as the pre-eminent maritime fighting force in the world.
Throughout history, we’ve deployed in peace to protect the sea lanes of communication and to advance and safeguard America’s relationships and ideals. In conflict, we’ve defeated determined enemies at sea, in the air and ashore. Our forward-deployed naval presence delivers security, influence, and responsiveness unmatched by any other service or platform. You all play a vital role in this organization and I wish you all a Happy Birthday and thank you for serving in the World’s Finest Navy!
With the season right around the corner, it is a good time to practice holiday safety. You are all ambassadors of the Navy and Marine Corps and everything you do in or out of uniform reflect on your service. Be safe out there and look after one another.
Ensure you make good use of the vital training conducted over the last month, training that is imperative for the safety of everyone in our organization. Keep in mind your key training on Bystander Intervention, Suicide Awareness and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). These are all issues that are prevalent, especially this time of year, and deeply affect our organization. I cannot emphasize the importance of these topics as we roll into the busy holiday season.
This is mission-essential training, preparing you for service in the fleet, conducted just as Sailors in the fleet do to maintain personal and professional readiness. Do not hesitate to contact your command representatives or reach out to my staff at headquarters for additional resources.
In the coming months, I expect us all to maintain a steady strain across the domain, just as we have done over the summer.
At Recruit Training Command (RTC), we recently completed our second round of testing for electronic tablet distribution to recruits as part of our e-Sailor initiative. This was another huge step for the Navy as we continue making technological strides at boot camp. This program is specifically designed to increase how Navy training is absorbed and retained in a way that recruits are already accustomed to learning.
I have also had the opportunity to continue visiting with various commands within the domain. Most recently, I had the great pleasure of visiting with midshipmen at The Citadel, my alma mater.
I also greatly enjoyed my tour of the Hampton Roads NROTC units and I appreciate all the midshipmen taking time out of their busy training schedule to speak with me. I hope to continue to travel and visit with as many of you as possible in the future.
Until then, we are looking to branch out with our social media capabilities and provide you enhanced opportunities to interact with us and keep informed on the rest of the domain. For those of you who tuned in, we had a wonderful live-broadcast performance by the Navy Band Great Lakes Horizon Popular Music Group. We hosted the show on “Periscope,” so be sure to follow us for future events.
Here at Naval Station Great Lakes, it was my distinct honor to speak at the 5th Anniversary of the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and meet such an incredible namesake of a facility that keeps our Navy family healthy and ready.
October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To promote awareness among the Great Lakes community, we kicked off the month with a Silent Witness March to demonstrate that “together we are ONE VOICE against domestic violence. Our HONOR, COURAGE, and COMMITMENT will make a difference!” Please join me in spreading awareness and upholding our Navy policy of zero tolerance of domestic violence.
Last but not least, to all those who participated in events to remember September 11th, I want to extend my personal gratitude. It is imperative that we never forget that tragic day and reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation.
Thank you for all that you continue to do to make this the greatest first Flag Duty in the Navy!