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MCPON Letter to the Enlisted Force: Focus on building winning teams

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith

The world stage is a very dynamic and challenging one, with many nations maturing their ability to efficiently operate in the maritime environment. The evolution of technology, and our Navy’s growth in this new “great powers” era demands that our Navy apply resources in a far more refined and complex manner. As our Navy’s storied legacy continues, the Navy the Nation Needs will demand more from us. We must become stronger, run faster and effectively build teams to compete and win in high-end warfare at sea.

Institutional loyalty – “ship, shipmate, self” – as well as organizational transparency and clear messaging will continue to be a priority, as well as dignity and respect between all of our teammates. Understanding the solemn privilege we have as stewards of the public trust will be emphasized. Austerity and humility are necessary attributes to embrace as we carefully manage the resources the American public has entrusted to us.

Every Navy leader aspires to leave behind a better and more prepared Navy than the one they found when they arrived, and I am no different. The principal concern of the Office of the MCPON remains first and foremost to serve as a determined advocate on behalf of our enlisted force, as well as to find ways to leverage our 3,000 master chiefs in leading 31,000 chief petty officers to build winning teams in preparation for the future fight. Together we must set a blistering pace above, on and below the sea, projecting strength so profoundly that we give pause to anyone who would dare challenge us.

Four great strengths of the Mess are technical competence, innovative thinking, communication and networking. These skills give us the ability to be a force multiplier in both peace and war, enabling us to solve the greatest challenges by connecting our Navy horizontally. Known for using deckplate skills and experience to innovate and get results, the Mess will be absolutely essential to finding new and better ways to build muscle memory that develops toughness, which will lead to true combat readiness.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 25, 2015) Chief Damage Controlman D. C. Coronado instructs Damage Controlman 3rd Class R. E. Berens, left, and Damage Controlman Firman D. R. Barber during a general quarters drill in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman was underway conducting a tailored ship's training availability off the east coast of the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 25, 2015) Chief Damage Controlman D. C. Coronado instructs Damage Controlman 3rd Class R. E. Berens, left, and Damage Controlman Firman D. R. Barber during a general quarters drill in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman was underway conducting a tailored ship’s training availability off the east coast of the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)

 

We must keep Sailors from getting sidetracked or distracted, keeping them instead laser-focused on combat at sea against a determined enemy. To that end, we are engaged in delivering tools to the fleet, to render greater efficiencies in both personnel management and how we educate and train our Sailors. Those efforts will return time and opportunity to the deckplates, allowing leaders to focus on tactical skills and warfighting readiness.

Throughout our history, our greatest advantage has never been our machinery – rather, it has been the courage of the American Sailor facing adversity around the world. Perseverance, fortitude and spirit of service that each and every one of you brings to the fight will give us the decisive edge in the fight to come.

Russell L. Smith
MCPON

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2018) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith congratulates recruits during a capping ceremony inside USS Trayer (BST 21) at Recruit Training Command. Trayer, more commonly referred to as "Battle Stations," is the crucible event that recruits must pass prior to graduation, testing their knowledge and skills in basic seamanship, damage control, firefighting and emergency response procedures. More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy's only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Fling/Released)
GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2018) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith congratulates recruits during a capping ceremony inside USS Trayer (BST 21) at Recruit Training Command. Trayer, more commonly referred to as “Battle Stations,” is the crucible event that recruits must pass prior to graduation, testing their knowledge and skills in basic seamanship, damage control, firefighting and emergency response procedures. More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy’s only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Fling/Released)

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