Families, Friends, Shipmates,
As most of you know, I assumed command of Naval Service Training Command last month. I want to express my sincere thanks to all the Sailors, midshipmen, cadets, officers, staff and families for your warm welcome aboard.
It is pretty well known that this job is the best First Flag Duty in the Navy and my first month here has certainly lived up to that reputation.
Since checking on board, I have been extremely impressed with the superb young men and women who have volunteered to serve our country.
Some are seasoned veterans who are about to become our Navy’s newest Chief Petty Officers.
As the semester begins for NROTC midshipmen and NJROTC cadets, that means summer vacation is over. It is time to start a new chapter in your life. First and foremost, enjoy yourselves this school year and stay safe.
This can be a time of high stress and situations you may not be accustomed to. You are part of one big Navy family now and our family takes care of one another. Whether you have an academic, personal or other issue, remember to seek out help from a peer or staff member.
Our Navy is a great career choice and as family or friend of your Sailors, you will join them in their adventure supporting our Navy and our nation. Please take care of yourselves and each other so that we can have a great year.
This first month has been extremely busy for the command. We have had several distinguished visitors including the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michelle Howard,
as well as Brazil’s top Navy officer, Adm. Eduardo Leal Ferreira, commander of the Brazilian Navy.
One of my favorite parts about this job is that I get to show our guests firsthand how the Navy’s top Sailors train the Navy’s newest Sailors.
We also introduced the Honor Graduate Ribbon at Recruit Training Command last week. This ribbon demonstrates how hard work pays off during basic military training, just as it will in the fleet. It serves as a physical recognition of the Sailor’s outstanding achievements in academics, physical fitness, recruit leadership and commitment to the Navy core values.
Additionally, we completed an update to the officer Professional Core Competencies (PCC) manual. Using an innovative web-based feedback game we call “MMOWGLI” (Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet), leaders in the fleet were able to provide input on the necessary skills officers need to develop during training before reaching the fleet. The world we operate in is constantly evolving, and the preparation of our officers must keep pace. The revised PCC Manual will prompt curriculum changes throughout the accession programs, improving the readiness of junior officers entering the service.
I have also had the opportunity to participate in a great deal of community outreach in the past month.
It was my great honor to represent our Navy in the Bud Billiken Parade in downtown Chicago. There, I was extremely humbled to meet a few of the original members of the Tuskegee Airmen, great American heroes!
I also had the distinct pleasure to speak at the WWII Black Veterans of Great Lakes annual dinner, another venue filled with national treasures.
Additionally, I was very fortunate when the Chicago Federal Executive Board asked me to speak at their Regional Congressional Briefing. Our entire community benefits when federal agencies come together to discuss common issues and share resources and information to enhance common goals.
Events such as these allow me to showcase our Navy to our community and local leaders. We appreciate our neighbors and there is no better way to show that appreciation than to get out and show them what their tax dollars are paying for!
I look forward to what the future has in store for NSTC and our Great Lakes community.
This was a fantastic first month on the job! I appreciate all your hard work!
Finally, I want to thank all you family members and friends who sustain us while we serve. Your support can’t be measured other than to simply say we couldn’t do what we do without you.
I look forward to the opportunity to meet as many of you as possible and thank you in person.