SG’s Message – Strengthening our Tradition of Excellence

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Esteemed Shipmates,

Next Wednesday (13 October) will mark our Navy’s 246th birthday. Our history and heritage form our identity, telling us who we are and what we stand for. Our core values of honor, courage, and commitment have been passed down from our founders. They charged our Navy with the solemn duty to serve as the shield of our republic.  Happy Birthday and thank you for your service in support of the world’s most powerful Navy. 

The foundation of Navy Medicine has been and always will be our people.  Future battles will not be won by technology or overwhelming industrial strength alone. Our true competitive advantage is America’s naval ingenuity, backed by Sailors from diverse backgrounds who share a common ethos of mutual respect and decency.  I recently signed a new Navy Medicine Culture of Excellence (NMCOE) policy statement, which promotes building a healthy, inclusive environment where every member of our team has the tools and support needed to maximize their potential. 

Our Navy Medicine culture must continue to promote psychological, physical, and spiritual Toughness; a Trust built on inclusivity, learning, and self-improvement; and Connectedness marked by the relationships and resources that bind us all together. NMCOE focuses on doing our best, making healthy choices, and holding each other accountable for modeling Signature Behaviors that optimize our performance and undoubtedly make us a more effective and lethal warfighting force:   

1)     Treat every person with respect

2)     Take responsibility for actions

3)     Hold others accountable for their actions

4)     Intervene when necessary

5)     Be a leader and encourage leadership in others

6)     Grow personally and professionally every day

7)     Embrace the diversity of ideas, experiences, and backgrounds of individuals

8)     Uphold the highest degree of integrity in professional and personal life

9)     Exercise discipline in conduct and performance

10)  Contribute to team success through actions and attitudes

I am counting on every member of our One Navy Medicine team to be proactive in fostering an atmosphere of respect and professionalism. Attached to this message is our Navy Medicine COE policy statement. You can also find this document on our public website:

For more than two centuries, our adversaries changed, our technologies evolved, and our leaders have come and gone; however, our culture is enduring, and we must strive to make it excellent. Only as a unified force, free from discrimination, harassment, and inequality, can we effectively work together to achieve operational readiness and project the Medical Power needed to support Naval Superiority.

With my continued respect and admiration,

SG sends

Bruce L. Gillingham, MD, CPE, FAOA
Surgeon General, U.S. Navy
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

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