MCPON Letter to the Enlisted Force: Focus on building winning teams

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Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith

The world stage is a very dynamic and challenging one, with many nations maturing their ability to efficiently operate in the maritime environment. The evolution of technology, and our Navy’s growth in this new “great powers” era demands that our Navy apply resources in a far more refined and complex manner. As our Navy’s storied legacy continues, the Navy the Nation Needs will demand more from us. We must become stronger, run faster and effectively build teams to compete and win in high-end warfare at sea.

Institutional loyalty – “ship, shipmate, self” – as well as organizational transparency and clear messaging will continue to be a priority, as well as dignity and respect between all of our teammates. Understanding the solemn privilege we have as stewards of the public trust will be emphasized. Austerity and humility are necessary attributes to embrace as we carefully manage the resources the American public has entrusted to us.

Every Navy leader aspires to leave behind a better and more prepared Navy than the one they found when they arrived, and I am no different. The principal concern of the Office of the MCPON remains first and foremost to serve as a determined advocate on behalf of our enlisted force, as well as to find ways to leverage our 3,000 master chiefs in leading 31,000 chief petty officers to build winning teams in preparation for the future fight. Together we must set a blistering pace above, on and below the sea, projecting strength so profoundly that we give pause to anyone who would dare challenge us.

Four great strengths of the Mess are technical competence, innovative thinking, communication and networking. These skills give us the ability to be a force multiplier in both peace and war, enabling us to solve the greatest challenges by connecting our Navy horizontally. Known for using deckplate skills and experience to innovate and get results, the Mess will be absolutely essential to finding new and better ways to build muscle memory that develops toughness, which will lead to true combat readiness.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 25, 2015) Chief Damage Controlman D. C. Coronado instructs Damage Controlman 3rd Class R. E. Berens, left, and Damage Controlman Firman D. R. Barber during a general quarters drill in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman was underway conducting a tailored ship's training availability off the east coast of the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 25, 2015) Chief Damage Controlman D. C. Coronado instructs Damage Controlman 3rd Class R. E. Berens, left, and Damage Controlman Firman D. R. Barber during a general quarters drill in the hangar bay of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman was underway conducting a tailored ship’s training availability off the east coast of the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)

We must keep Sailors from getting sidetracked or distracted, keeping them instead laser-focused on combat at sea against a determined enemy. To that end, we are engaged in delivering tools to the fleet, to render greater efficiencies in both personnel management and how we educate and train our Sailors. Those efforts will return time and opportunity to the deckplates, allowing leaders to focus on tactical skills and warfighting readiness.

Throughout our history, our greatest advantage has never been our machinery – rather, it has been the courage of the American Sailor facing adversity around the world. Perseverance, fortitude and spirit of service that each and every one of you brings to the fight will give us the decisive edge in the fight to come.

Russell L. Smith
MCPON

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2018) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith congratulates recruits during a capping ceremony inside USS Trayer (BST 21) at Recruit Training Command. Trayer, more commonly referred to as "Battle Stations," is the crucible event that recruits must pass prior to graduation, testing their knowledge and skills in basic seamanship, damage control, firefighting and emergency response procedures. More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy's only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Fling/Released)
GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2018) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith congratulates recruits during a capping ceremony inside USS Trayer (BST 21) at Recruit Training Command. Trayer, more commonly referred to as “Battle Stations,” is the crucible event that recruits must pass prior to graduation, testing their knowledge and skills in basic seamanship, damage control, firefighting and emergency response procedures. More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy’s only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Spencer Fling/Released)


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MCPON Letter to the Enlisted Force: Focus on building winning teams

Milwaukee Navy Week Celebrated

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Members of Navy Band Great Lakes march in the Wisconsin State Fair daily parade during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan J. Batchelder)



The ninth Navy Week of 2018 hosted America’s Navy during Milwaukee Navy Week August 6 -12 as both Sailors and residents interacted in a series of community outreach events.  The Navy Week program serves as the Navy’s principal outreach effort into areas of the country without a significant Navy presence.  The program is designed to help Americans understand that their Navy is deployed around the world, around the clock, ready to defend America at all times.


Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett pose for a photograph during the mayor’s proclamation of Milwaukee Navy Week at city hall. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan J. Batchelder)

Members of Navy Band Great Lakes march in the Wisconsin State Fair daily parade during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan J. Batchelder)

Navy Diver 2nd Class David Purkey, assigned to assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2, poses for a photograph with children at Discovery World Science and Technology Center during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan J. Batchelder)

Navy Diver 1st Class Thomas Gerace assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 places a KM-37 diving helmet on a volunteer at the Milwaukee Public Museum during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan J. Batchelder)

Seaman Ashley Watson, assigned to USS Constitution, interacts with children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater LaVarnway during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular)

Lt. Deidre Coulson-Tucker, assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1, demonstrates helicopter take-off signals to a volunteer at the Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Club during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan J. Batchelder)

Master Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chad Harris, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2, demonstrates a bomb-disposal robot to onlookers at the Milwaukee Public Museum during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan J. Batchelder)

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Amanda Stanaway, from Springfield, Ohio, assigned to USS Constitution, interacts with a child at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater LaVarnway Clubhouse during Milwaukee Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular)

Would you attend a Navy Week celebration near you ?


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Milwaukee Navy Week Celebrated

Judge Advocates, Then and Now

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By Rear Adm. John G. Hannink
Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy                                                                

Upon learning that the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps is only 50 years old, most people express surprise.

One could be forgiven for assuming the JAG Corps has been around for far longer. Since its inception Dec. 8, 1967, the JAG Corps has been essential to naval operations. Furthermore, the scope and breadth of advice has grown since our Corps’ foundation, to the point that we’re at today – where our personnel advise clients across the globe on matters that range from the most sensitive national security decisions, to individual legal services, to Sailors in need of our assistance.

Indeed, Navy judge advocates have long captured the public’s imagination. I am still asked regularly about the “JAG” television show and few have forgotten Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise sparring on the big screen in “A Few Good Men.” Their portrayals in popular culture have made judge advocates indelible symbols of naval service.

Some people also are surprised to learn that the first uniformed chief legal officer of the Navy was, in fact, a Marine. Col. William Butler Remey was assigned to the post in 1878 after convincing Congress that, like other branches of the military, the Navy needed a permanent JAG (e.g., the Navy had a “JAG” long before the JAG Corps).


GREAT LAKES, Ill. (February 8, 2016) – Lt. Kimberly Rios works on legal briefs for Naval Station Great Lakes Command Feb. 8. (U. S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom)

Remey actually argued that naval law was so unique that a line officer must serve as JAG. It wasn’t until 1950, nearly 75 years later, that the law required the JAG to be an attorney. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation that formalized the creation of the JAG Corps.

Today, a half-century later, the JAG Corps is a very different organization. It has evolved in countless ways to meet the demands of a growing military and a more interconnected and complex world.

Judge advocates are now ever-present fixtures at most naval commands. And yet, I wonder how many Sailors have a comprehensive understanding of the myriad ways judge advocates support them and the Navy mission.

It’s impossible to capture everything the JAG Corps does in a single blog post. It is perhaps best to highlight our three core practice areas – the three ways in which we touch Sailors and their families every day.


PORT LOUIS, Mauritius (Feb. 3, 2017) Cmdr. Andrew Wilkes, a legal advisor assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, discusses the implementation of a United Nations security council resolution with Geeandeo Cheetamun, Mauritian chief inspector of police during Exercise Cutlass Express 2017. The exercise is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in East Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin Stumberg/Released)

Our military justice team strives to help ensure good order and discipline, and protects the rights of all parties in judicial proceedings. Trial counsel, defense counsel, judges and victims legal counsel work tirelessly on behalf of Sailors and their families, and to protect the integrity of the military justice system.

Our operational lawyers provide commanders with accurate and responsive legal advice to support military operations and sound naval administration. We have attorneys specializing in maritime law, international law, environmental law and many other disciplines. Our judge advocates are on the cutting edge of many emerging issues, such as cyber warfare and special operations.

Do you need a will, help with your taxes or perhaps home-buying advice? Our legal assistance team supports the fleet by helping Sailors and their families resolve personal legal matters and to remain mission-ready. A judge advocate or civilian subject matter expert is standing by at any time to help Sailors with all their concerns and more.

Today, as it turns 50 years old, our JAG Corps is more versatile and more ingrained in naval operations than Remey, Johnson or any of the JAG Corps’ earliest members could have envisioned. Our judge advocates are making a meaningful impact on the Navy and on the lives of Sailors and their families. The future – the next 50 years – looks bright.


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Judge Advocates, Then and Now

2013 Warrior Games: A Photographic Look Back

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The 2013 Warrior Games competition came to a close on May 16, delivering excitement and great sportsmanship throughout the week.

The week kicked off Saturday with three-time Paralympic medalist Navy Lt. Brad Snyder, five-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin and Prince Harry lighting the cauldron, and ended by celebrating the new Warrior Games champions.

Here’s a look at some of the great moments captured during the competition.

The Warrior Games are a Paralympic-style competition for wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans from the U.S. and British armed forces. Athletes compete in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, swimming, cycling, track & field, archery & competitive shooting.

Every year since it’s 2010 inception, the Marines Wounded Warrior team has won the Chairman’s Cup by winning the most medals. Is this year be any different?

Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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2013 Warrior Games: A Photographic Look Back