CNO Message to the Fleet

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By Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday,

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic brought an invisible enemy to our shores and changed the way we operate as a Navy. The fight against this virus is a tough one. But our Sailors are tougher, and each of you plays a critical role in defeating this virus.

We have embraced the challenge of COVID-19 and are learning, adapting, and improving by the day and by the hour. There is no better example of this than our actions and response on the USS Kidd (DDG 100).

As we continue to learn about this virus and how to mitigate its risk, the widespread public health measures you are actively, practicing–physical distancing, face coverings, minimizing group events, frequent hand-washing, sound sanitation practices, a questioning attitude on how we are feeling – -must be our new normal. We must harden our Navy by continuing to focus on the health and safety of our forces and our families. The health and safety of our Sailors and their families is, and must continue to be, our number one priority. Fleet operations depend on it.

As the forward deployed force of our country, we have a duty to ensure we are ready to respond. We cannot simply take a knee or keep everyone in port until this enemy is defeated. We are America’s away team. The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 makes our mission of protecting America at sea more important than ever. That is why the U.S. Navy continues to operate forward every day.

As state and local officials begin to re-open communities, we must continue to focus on the health and safety of our Sailors and their families. It is vitally important for every individual to take personal responsibility to minimize risk to themselves, to their loved ones, as well as to the members of our team who may be more susceptible.

Each Fleet, region and installation will be on a conditions-based timeline to open. OSD and Service guidance will be released to assist Commanders in making these decisions. When we entered this pandemic, we quickly closed down services to minimize interactions and the spread of the disease. We will need to take a measured approach to opening up these services to prevent a recurrence of the disease. I expect local commanders to understand area conditions and to communicate prudent expectations and guidance up and down the chain of command. I trust our Sailors to follow these guidelines.

Each of us must continue to practice and follow all public health measures necessary to minimize risk to our force and our families. Take responsibility. Show courage in speaking up if you see shipmates falling short. We have obligations for operational readiness and stringent requirements for health protection measures.

Continue to gather lessons learned at all levels, and prepare for another wave of COVID so that we can minimize the impact and be prepared, if that happens.

While I know we are asking a lot of our Sailors and families right now, with measures such as extended deployments and pre-underway Restriction of Movement (ROM) periods, these sacrifices are necessary to maintain a healthy force around the world. I appreciate your commitment to selfless service.

I know our Sailors’ ability to adapt and respond has been nothing short of amazing and I am grateful. Your resiliency gives us all hope and assurance during these uncertain times.

CNO Message to the Fleet

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By Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday,

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The events of the past week have been difficult for our Navy and our nation. We will learn from them. But make no mistake, we are moving forward. The Navy has our orders and we are executing them.

As I write, we have thousands of Sailors on mission, above, under, and on the seas as well as here at home on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. We’re operating far forward on 90 ships, including three aircraft carriers and two big deck amphibious ships. Navy Cyber teams are defending our networks.  Seabees are converting commercial buildings into medical facilities across six states. Three thousand Navy doctors, nurses and corpsmen, including hundreds of reservists, are caring for our fellow Americans on USNS MERCY, COMFORT, in New York City’s Javits Center, and in civilian hospitals. Hundreds more deployed to treat the sick in Dallas and New Orleans. The NIMITZ carrier strike group and her air wing at Lemoore are in 14 day Restriction of Movement (ROM) as they ramp up to deploy. Same for our SSBN crews. Countless more Sailors are leaning in to support them – across our fleet staffs, intelligence centers, training facilities, and supply depots. More than six thousand recruits at Great lakes are preparing to head to the fleet.

Given this, I have three priorities for us right now. First, our health and safety. Second, ongoing fleet operations and our support to the coronavirus effort. Third, continuing to generate the enormous amount of support required to keep #1 and #2 on track. I know much of that effort is behind the scenes and out of the limelight – but every bit of it is critical.

We must ensure the health of the force. And we must be laser-focused on the Fleet – from manning to maintenance, and from training to warfighting. Operational readiness is our job… and every one of us has a role. Nobody sits the bench.

Everyone must pull together. And in this new environment of coronavirus, we’re all learning, adapting, and improving by the hour. There is no better example of this than USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT – staring down an invisible enemy – dedicated in their efforts – making phenomenal progress, and providing lessons for the Navy and beyond.

America. Has. A. Great. Navy. Our nation counts on you and so do I.  Never more proud to be your CNO.

CNO Gilday Releases Guidance to the Fleet; Focuses on Warfighting, Warfighters, and the Future Navy

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From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs


WASHINGTON (NNS) — Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday released his initial guidance to the Fleet, Dec. 4.

The guidance was issued via a fragmentary order (FRAGO) and is intended to simplify, prioritize, and build on the foundation of “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority 2.0,” issued by Adm. John Richardson in December of 2018.

“Mission One for every Sailor – uniformed and civilian, active and reserve – is the operational readiness of today’s Navy,” said Gilday.  “A ready Navy – ready to fight today – with a commitment to training, maintenance, and modernization will ensure a Navy for ready for tomorrow.”

While Gilday said that the Navy’s strategic direction focused on Great Power Competition is sound, this guidance focuses the Navy’s efforts across three areas that are vital to achieving success now and in the future: warfighting, warfighters, and the future Navy.

Warfighting: A Navy that is ready to win across the full range of military operations. We must have a Fleet that is manned, trained, equipped, integrated, and ready to meet requirements of our senior leaders at any time. Alongside the Marine Corps, the Navy will deliver decisive Integrated American Naval Power.

Warfighter: A Navy that is world-class.  We must recruit, educate, train, and retain America’s most talented men and women.  Our people – uniformed and civilian Sailors – are our asymmetric advantage.

Future Navy: A Navy fully prepared to fight and win.  Our Navy will be equipped with the right capabilities and numbers to meet the challenges of a complex and competitive maritime environment. We will look at what is required to operate forward, build the Fleet to match, and train together until we achieve integrated combat power across the force.

“Together with the United States Marine Corps, our Navy is the bedrock of Integrated American Naval Power,” said Gilday. “I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation needs and will rely upon tomorrow – and we will do so with urgency.”

The guidance also focuses on building alliances and partnerships to broaden and strengthen global maritime awareness and access.

“Combined with a robust constellation of allies and partners who desire to build and strengthen the international economic order, we are operating towards the same end – continued security and stability that results in a free and open maritime commons,” said Gilday. “We will continue to partner and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all nations who share a mutual respect for and adherence to international law as well as a vision of free and open maritime commons.”

To read Fragmentary Order 01/2019 in its entirety, click here.

To download a one-page infographic, click here.

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CNO Message to the Force: We Must Be Protectors and Exemplify Our Values

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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.