SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson held a breakfast meeting with Sailors from various commands across Navy Region Southwest at CZ Hall, Naval Base Point Loma, Nov. 17.
Richardson discussed changes across the fleet and lessons learned from the incidents involving USS McCain and USS Fitzgerald. He also conversed with the Sailors about the current forward deployed status of our Navy, as well as issues concerning the current evaluation system.
"The CNO explained the changes they are trying to make in the eval program," said Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Matthew Zelkoski, who attended the breakfast. "I really like the idea of having your peers evaluate us as part of the process. It's too easy to end up with a Sailor who looks really great on paper, but it doesn't reflect the reality of that Sailor's capabilities."
The CNO has made it a point to frequently have discussions with Sailors across the fleet to receive feedback on all of the Navy's current issues. Richardson said he looks forward to opportunities to get out of the Pentagon and speak with young Sailors.
"This is the best thing I get to do as CNO," said Richardson. "Not only do I get to ask them what I can do to help them, but the input I get back is fantastic! It gives me the information I need to make changes that will have a direct impact on Sailors and the Navy."
Senior and junior Sailors alike have responded to the discussions with an optimistic attitude.
"It was a great experience," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Alfredo Delagarza, assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Southwest. "I've always wanted to meet the CNO in my career, and, now that I've had the opportunity, I hope that more Sailors will have this opportunity. I think if anybody gets this opportunity, they should jump on it because he will listen to you and you might be able to make a big impact on the Navy just by providing your feedback."
Richardson became the 31st CNO Sept. 18, 2015. He serves as the Navy's most senior officer, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a principal advisor to the secretary of the Navy, secretary of defense and the president.