In an era long before satellites, cell phones, and radios, seafarers used a communication system based on flags and pennants. Transmitting messages over long distances is called semaphore, and these visual signals (signal flags) enabled ships to “speak” with other ships at sea. For more than 30 years, Navy Medicine has used signal flags to communicate our active mission posture. Many may recall after the attacks of September 11th, the advent of “Charlie Papa” and how these flags could be found across the enterprise reminding us that we were “Steaming to Assist.” After 20 years of holding this course, we recognized a need to shift colors and accurately reflect our post-Global War on Terror focus.
Our One Navy Medicine Team is actively RENDERING ASSISTANCE to warfighters and civilians alike, throughout the Fleet and ashore, with the Marine Corps, and civilian medical facilities throughout the United States. This week we launched our new signal flags – “Charlie Mike” – to convey the message of “Rendering Assistance.”
Examples abound. From our continued fight against COVID-19, to embedded mental health services with deployed Naval Forces. From medical screenings, immunizations, and acute care in support of Operation Allies Welcome, to providing volcano relief alongside the Australian Defense Force in Tonga. Rendering Assistance is nothing new for Navy Medicine. It is what we do – and we do it well!
Without any fanfare or recognition, Navy Medicine is rendering assistance every day. We keep our warfighters in the fight and answer the call around the globe. These signal flags reflect our ongoing focus and help guide us forward as we support the mission and ensure the health and readiness of America’s Sailors and Marines.
For more information about our new Signal Flags, check out the links below:
Charlie Mike video:
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/0xSXuO9PfNE
Charlie Mike FAQ:
With my continued respect and admiration,