CNO Message to the Force: We must be protectors and exemplify our values

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday

Mission one for every Sailor — active and reserve, uniformed and civilian — is the operational readiness of today’s Navy. That means being ready both in our personal and professional lives — and part of that readiness is continuing to hold ourselves to high ideals of integrity and service.

Reflecting on my first three months as chief of naval operations, I want each and every Sailor to think about who we are as a Navy and the constitutional oath we commit ourselves to. That oath is what binds us together. It is the foundation of our profession. It is our north star. It defines us.

It is no overstatement to say that naval service requires deeper and broader knowledge than it ever has before. You must summon all your energy to ensure that we are ready to fight today; not tomorrow, not in some distant future but today. That all starts with good order and discipline at every level of the chain of command. 

To be clear, we must be men and women of integrity. We must be honorable. We must be standard-bearers. We must be above reproach. And we must not give anyone cause to question our fundamental values. That is what sets us apart as a fighting force. 

Leaders, I am counting on you. I expect commanders at every level to epitomize integrity and exemplify our core values at all times. Senior enlisted leaders, I expect you to anchor up and show your Sailors what right looks like on the deck-plates, day-in and day-out. And I expect every Sailor to display the character and honor that has always defined our Navy. These ideals are central to who we are.

The responsibility for ethical and professional behavior must be taken seriously — and we must own it at every level. We must be protectors and exemplify our values.

I’m counting on each of you to set a strong personal example of responsible behavior, both on and off duty.

While there is much work to be done, the tenacity and ingenuity of our Sailors will take us where we need to go — and do so at a flank bell. 

See you in the fleet.

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