Editor’s note: This blog was published before Vice Adm. Michelle Howard’s promotion to four-star admiral and assumption of duties as the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations on July 1.
By Vice Adm. Michelle Howard
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5)
On 1 July, I will take the oath of office and, again, I will swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. It is an important coincidence for me; I will take the oath as we start our national commemorations celebrating the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration led to the revolution, the founding of this republic, and the Constitution. The Constitution is a document that enshrines the concepts of democracy and rights of individuals.
We serve in the Navy as volunteers. We do not wear this uniform because we have to; we wear this uniform because we believe in the Constitution and in the words of the Declaration of Independence.
I understand that many before me have given their blood to ensure the ideals of the Constitution are preserved. We serve and sacrifice so that all may live free. Benjamin Franklin captured this belief in his statement, “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”
I serve in the finest Navy that the world has witnessed. We have global reach, we protect the economic lifeline of this country, and when our citizens need us, we are there.
Where liberty dwells, there is my country. Where liberty dwells, there is the United States Navy.
Our Navy is our people – our Sailors. They are the lifeblood of our Navy and they bring our core values of courage, honor and commitment to life in every mission. I have been privileged to serve with Sailors over the last three decades. U.S.S. to me means United States Sailor. Like our warships, you are strong, sharp and at the ready. I am proud to serve with you and I feel fortunate that my blessings of liberty include that I will continue to serve with you.