NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert told more than 500 graduates of the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) that bold and accountable leaders are needed to make difficult choices in a changing environment during graduation ceremonies at Naval Station Newport, June 15.
The CNO addressed the importance of their NWC educations and the importance it will have in current and future challenges that will face them.
"Your studies here provide you an opportunity to reassess yourself, your situation and your service and to recharge yourself intellectually to see things more clearly," said Greenert. "But you will see it isn't that clear. That's not the way the world is. Things aren't as they appear."
Greenert referred to the choices faced by the graduating class, balancing efforts and focus, and what the CNO needs from the graduating class.
"We are at an inflection point in the Navy. The draw-down in Iraq and Afghanistan and the economic deficit dictate a need for a new strategy," said Greenert. "I expect you to apply the three tenets of warfighting first, operate forward and be ready - in your wardrooms and view your decisions through them."
Greenert joined NWC President, Rear Adm. John Christenson in presenting diplomas to graduates including 116 students who traveled to Newport and earned their degree through NWC's College of Distance Education.
In keeping with the tradition of NWC graduation ceremonies, Christenson gave graduates a final "charge" or challenge as they leave the college for higher leadership assignments.
"You depart Newport to be part of the solution, to win any war, and to defend freedom. You depart with greater trust and confidence in your service and international partners. You depart with the 'knowledge of centuries' directly relevant to the challenges of today. I wish you and your families success and happiness in the years ahead," said Christenson.
The June graduating class of 2012 included almost 300 of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and civilian government employees and over 100 international students from 70 countries. When combined with March and last November graduates, the 2012 graduation class is the largest in the college's 128-year history with 1,692 students.
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