By Vice Adm. Bill Moran
Chief of Naval Personnel
Over the last two months, much of your Navy leadership has spent a significant amount of energy explaining our fiscal year ’15 budget submission to Congress – what it means for you and your family, today and into the future.
In fact just yesterday I testified before the Senate Armed Service Personnel Subcommittee about the tough choices ahead.
Over the last six years, together with our civilian Sailors we navigated through a financial downturn not equaled since the Great Depression. During more than a decade of war, both civilian and military leaders alike warned that our greatest national security threat might not be from another country or a terrorist group, but may very well be from our national debt.
That warning could become reality, with sequestration looming once again. Cancelled deployments and reduction of steaming and flying hours in 2013 were an ominous indication of what the future may hold.
Below is the opening statement I shared with the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee:
Today, more than one-third of our Navy is underway, a significant accomplishment given the fiscal challenges we faced in 2013.
As we took on this budget, certainly we understood the imperative of reducing national debt in order to sustain our national security. But many of the financial levers we pulled last year to mitigate operational impacts were simply no longer available.
And if sequestration were to continue, we would experience irreversible consequences to our long-term combat readiness and jeopardize our ability to retain high quality Sailors.
As our CNO recently stated…it would be much tougher to maintain a Navy to be where it matters, when it matters.
Right now, Sailors from the Bush Strike Group are in the Arabian Sea and Gulf…the Harry S. Truman is returning home from a 9 month deployment…
The USS Donald Cook is headed into the Black Sea, to reassure allies and build partner capacity.
And as we have all seen, our men and women forward deployed in the Pacific are contributing to search efforts alongside 26 other nations…for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.
All of what American seapower means today…and might become…is due to the selfless service of the men and women who make it so.
And they stand directly at the center of the budget now before you.
Every tough choice we made in this budget – was in favor of maintaining quality of service for Sailors.
Our objective was to:
- Improve Manning at Sea…
- Retain our Best and Brightest….
- And increase the readiness of our Sailors and their Families.
We owe them the tools, the parts, the training, and the professional work environment they need to succeed in their mission.
That’s what they tell us they need. And that’s what this budget [proposal] delivers.
Fortunately, as this Committee has agreed time and again – that’s what our people deserve. Nothing less.
On behalf of them, thank you for all you have done – and continue to do – for our Navy and the security of our nation.
Sailors in our Navy join to deploy, to sail and to fly. We want to serve, achieve, and contribute to a winning team. What we ask for in return is to be given the training, the parts, and the safe work environments we need to succeed, Put simply – we want what is needed to complete the mission.
This is a message we hear and read time and time again – face to face, at all hands calls and on social media.
What we hear from you is what we are saying in Washington – it’s more than just the money – it’s the mission. We know that there is a quality of work that is out of balance in the Fleet.
That kind of rebalancing, while doing our best to steward every single taxpayer dollar, is what keeps the promise of service and maintains the greatest Navy in the world.
You and your families are the resources our nation depends on for our defense. How we keep our promise to you – providing the resources to turn your desire to serve into mission success – is what matters most.
This is not something we can do alone – we need your continued feedback and input – please keep it coming.