WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In a naval administrative (NAVADMIN) message sent to the Navy on his first full day in office, new Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen stated his priorities and said the time was now to take advantage of the reforms initiated by his predecessor, Adm. Vern Clark.
"He has positioned us well to continue providing this nation and our allies dominant naval power wherever and whenever it is required," wrote Mullen of Clark. "From this position of strength, we can now - and we must - push open new boundaries and exploit new opportunities. My first order is, 'all ahead full.'"
Mullen made it clear he will continue to pursue Sea Power 21 and all its supporting pillars, and concentrate his efforts on three major priorities: sustaining combat readiness; building the fleet of the future, and delivering a "flexible and responsive" Human Capital Strategy.
"Our Navy can never be better than its Sailors," he said, "but it can deliver for those Sailors an accession, assignment, distribution, and education system every bit as modern and sophisticated as they are."
Mullen plans to issue CNO guidance this fall that specifically addresses how he will attack each of his priorities, but he used the NAVADMIN as an opportunity to spell out some of the principles that will guide him in making decisions.
Warfighting topped the list.
"The Navy is, first and foremost, a fighting, sea-going service - always has been," stressed Mullen. "The weapons and technology change. The ships, aircraft, and submarines certainly improve over time, but the job remains the same: to take the fight to the enemy so that he cannot take it to us."
He was quick to highlight naval warfare as one arm of joint warfare and jointness as critical to operational success.
"The Navy brings to the fight unique maritime capabilities, but...those capabilities are only as good as the contribution they make to the team effort."
Other guiding principles the CNO stressed were leadership, accountability, Navy/Marine Corps teamwork and people. He called everyone serving in the Navy today - active, reserve and civilian - a Sailor, and pledged his commitment to their growth and development. He said he would make few, if any, decisions without first asking about the impact they had on Sailors and their families.
Families, he said, are "every bit a factor in our readiness as our technology and our training." Even the Navy itself is a family, he said, sharing "a rich tradition of sea service."
Mullen wrapped up his message by reminding Sailors of the high expectations Americans have for their Navy, and added that he felt confident the fleet was capable of meeting those expectations. He called the security challenges facing the nation the "most demanding in history" and reiterated the promise he made during the change of command ceremony to "listen, learn and lead" in confronting them.
Time is of the essence, noted Mullen. "Our enemies will not rest, and neither can we. We must move out swiftly, deliberately, boldly. It is time to remove the stops and open the throttle."
The entire message can be read online at www.npc.navy.mil/NR/rdonlyres/8A196676-1A6B-49B8-BD09-0A312D7543C2/0/NAV05177.txt.
To view streaming video of the CNO change of command ceremony, visit www.navy.mil.
For more information about CNO, visit www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/index.html.
For related news, visit the Chief of Naval Operations Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cno/.