USS Harry S. Truman, At Sea (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, addressed hundreds of Sailors and Marines during an "All Hands Call" aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Nov. 2.
As a former commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, Vice Adm. Mark Fox has a special relationship with the Truman Carrier Strike Group and expressed his pleasure at returning to the carrier, now in her sixth month of deployment in support of operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
During the all hands call, Fox recognized the important role each Sailor and Marine plays in contributing to the strike group's success, and challenged the crew to continue their record of professionalism, accomplishment, safety and focus.
"You are part of an outfit that is more highly respected than any other organization in the United States," said Fox. "We are operating right now in a battle space that is very congested and protracted. We live in a very complex world and, we the military, offer assurance to those living in this part of the world. Keep your eye on the ball. This deployment is not over until the last line is secured."
Fox also spoke about the lasting relationships that Sailors and Marines formed during a shared journey of sacrifice.
"The bonds of camaraderie that come from sharing this type of adversity will form life-long bonds," said Fox. "The only part of this outfit that gains value over time is the people."
Fox concluded the all hands call by recognizing four Sailors and one Marine for their outstanding performance during deployment.
Fox presented Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Equipment] 2nd Class (AW) Jeremy Kreitzer, Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Bryan Smith, Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (AW) Jairo Brinas, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Amber Simpkins and Cpl. Michael Harris, with his personal command coin.
"This feels great," said Harris, who was meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant later that evening. "I mean, how often do you get recognized by a three-star admiral? I appreciate the fact that he took the time out of his day to speak to us and show his gratitude for all we do."
One phrase that Fox said that resonated with Harris was the adage of "you don't drift towards excellence; it is a conscious decision". Harris said he plans to abide by that principle and to encourage his fellow crew members to do the same.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.