Today we would like to bring you a message from Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert. In his New Year’s message, CNO Adm. Greenert discusses the Navy’s New Year’s Resolution, wellness goals, the budget, personnel pay and benefits. Hope you enjoy!
Happy New Year Shipmates. How you doing, I hope you were able to get some time off during the holidays and spend time with family. For those of you that are deployed I want to thank you again for what you did out there over the holiday season and throughout the year.
2012 was a good year- no it was a great year- because you met the challenges that the world brought to you, you were able to get the job done do the missions that our nation that the people of our nation that our President asked you to do.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
It’s the time of the year that we make New Year’s resolutions, everybody wants to be fit, lose weight get the PRT where they need to be. Let me tell you what I’m thinking about, I’m thinking about safety. I want 2013 to be a banner year for safety. I want all of you to improve your wellness in 2013. I’ll talk about that in just a little bit. But first safety we lose more people we have more injuries and we spend more money repairing equipment due to safety more than anything else. So I ask you to think about it- operate safely- think about safety and look out for each other in that regard.
So let’s talk about wellness, and what I mean about that. As you know the Secretary of the Navy rolled out about a year ago the 21st century Sailor and Marine. And it’s a very important part of our program; it’s a very important part of what we’re about. I want you to be fit, I want you to be physically fit and I want you to be mentally fit and I want you to be medically fit. Take care of yourself. Get some sleep. Don’t drink too much. I’m not saying don’t drink at all. It’s fine to be a social drinker, but think about what you’re doing, think about how much you’re drinking and what you’re doing with alcohol in your body. We need you more than you know. You are the key to our success. Take care of each other.
We are, probably more than any service, dependent upon trust. We need unconditional trust in each other. Now think about this. We go to sea; it is inherently dangerous out there on the sea. If you’re alone in the water, eventually you’ll die. You need to depend on someone else, whether you’re flying over the water, you’re sailing on the water or you’re submerged because you’re a submariner and you operate under the water. We need unconditional trust in each other from damage control to normal operations. Now take an example of an aircraft taking off from an aircraft carrier- if you’ve ever seen this you’ll see somebody, you’ll see the deck crew out on there you’ll see the shooter ready and he will or she will look around and check everybody out on that deck. That’s from a seaman to a senior petty officer to a chief petty officer to an officer. And what they say goes in regard to the launch of that aircraft. We inextricably and unconditionally trust each other and that pilot and that REO, if he has a REO, or she has a REO is completely dependent on each other for the safe launch of that aircraft and eventually its recovery. If you operate a nuclear reactor then you know what I’m talking about. Pre-critical check off, integrity, two person rule. If you submerge a submarine you know I’m talking about rig for diving, how important that is. That is the safety of the entire crew dependent on every single crew member. If you fly over the water I’m talking about the air crew, I’m talking about the crew chief I’m talking about the pilots- all dependent on each other. I think you get my point; we need to trust each other. And take care of each other. And treat each other with dignity and we respect. We don’t assault each other, we don’t even think about it. We don’t harass each other due to gender or due to proclivity just because they may somewhat different. We depend upon each other- that’s what shipmate means. So again, take care of each other in that regard. If someone looks like they’re a little distraught, ask them about it. Care about it. Care about your shipmate, we need to reverse the trend of suicide that we’ve had over the last few years. And the number one way to do it is to care.
To have the conviction, and sometimes it will take moral courage, to step up and ask somebody, “Hey man you look different. Or you’re acting different, or what’s wrong? What’s going on?” I tell you shipmates, again and again; when we’ve talked to people who have considered taking their lives- you know what made the difference? Someone cared, somebody asked me about and I got the treatment that or I went and talked to someone and felt better about it.
Budget, Pay and Benefits
Let me take a minute to talk about the budget. It’s not something I would usually bring to you but you’re going to hear a lot about it in Washington DC. Number one let me tell you, I don’t want you to worry about the budget, especially those of you who are operating out there among the forces. I’m going to do everything in my power to make what we’re doing out here on the budget in Washington DC invisible to you, sort of transparent.
YOU WILL RECEIVE THE SUPPORT AND RESOURCES YOU NEED
But here’s the deal, we have been operating since October on the same level of funding the year before. As 2012. And that’s not enough money to get us through the year. So we need to ratchet down or slow down on some of the operations, some of the less critical operations. And you’ll see us taking those actions in the future. But again, if you’re on deployment, if you’re out on an IA, you’ll receive the support and the resources that you need. Your pay will not be affected by any budgetary action in the next couple of months, I think we’ve talked about that, in fact I know we’ve talked about that for quite some time. Your retirement and your retirement systems are just not an issue over these next several months and for actually quite some time after that. So we’ll be taking some action after that as we look to the future in order to comply with the law called the budget control act. It will involve probably some changes in what we buy and how much buy. It will involve some changes in some non-deployed operations, but we’ll keep you informed on what it means.
IT WILL NOT BE AFFECTED
My message to you today is, if you’re out there operating, getting ready to operate, your pay, your allowances, to the degree that I can affect it and I’m very serious about this- family readiness programs will not be affected, it’ll be transparent to you, it’ll be invisible to you. You worry about operating, you worry about warfighting first, you worry about operating forward, and you worry about being ready. I’ll see you out in the fleet. Thank you for what you do and- have a great- let’s have a great- 2013.
A little about your benefits, your pay, your military pay- will be unchanged throughout this process, this budgetary process. You are exempt from sequestration if you are in a military uniform, your pay is. Your benefits– medical, retirement. We talked about before; it will be untouched throughout this process. If you’re in your uniform, you’re in the retirement system we know and love right now, if you’re in uniform your medical will remain the same as it is now. We’ll probably review retirement medical benefits, and that’ll be a topic of future discussion. I’m very serious about protecting family readiness programs, fleet and family service centers, things for education in that regard, we’ll take hard look at that, I’m very concerned that we take we are taking care of families that are taking care of you. And we’ll look at that very closely. I want you to worry about operations, I want you to worry about warfighting first, operating forward, and being ready. You leave the rest to us and we’ll take care of that part. More on this later, I’ll see you out there in the fleet.