GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) visited Naval Station Great Lakes, Sept. 4-5, and urged Sailors to "keep the watch over our Navy ethos."
Vice Adm. Bill F. Moran, making his first visit to the Great Lakes "A" Schools and the Navy's only boot camp, Recruit Training Command (RTC), since being named CNP in August, was able to observe and discuss accession training with the leadership of the base, Navy Region Midwest (NRMW), Training Support Center (TSC) and Naval Service Training Command (NSTC).
"You are the gatekeepers of our Navy. You have the experience and you have stood the watch. Use that experience to lay the foundation for the next generation," Moran told more than 800 Navy Military Training Instructors (NMTI) at TSC and Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs). "Your work is paying off. The watch you are standing here is showing dividends."
Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, NSTC commander, hosted CNP during his visit that included stops at several TSC and RTC training facilities.
"Having Vice Adm. Moran come here was a wonderful opportunity for him to see the great work the man and women serving up here are doing to forge the future of our Naval service," said Mewbourne, who oversees 98 percent of all officer and enlisted accessions training in the Navy.
"Vice Adm. Moran speaks about instilling and continuing trust, balance and stability during his watch as CNP," said Mewbourne. "We wanted him to see that he can trust us with the training of the Navy's newest Sailors. We wanted him to see that from boot camp through the training pipeline and until we hand them off to the fleet, our training is very balanced and very stable."
CNP began his visit at TSC where he toured many of the "A" Schools and preparatory schools.
"CNP got a more in-depth look at TSC and the learning centers and I thought each one of them did a great job of showing him the hands-on training that goes on here," said Capt. Henry "Hank" P. Roux Jr., TSC's commanding officer. "There's a belief out in the fleet that we're still primarily a computer-based training (command) and our objective was to show him that it's a combination of hands-on training with some computer-based training to supplement the student's learning."
Moran also met and had lunch with enlisted Sailors that make up the station's Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) chapter. The CSADD program was designed as a resource for active and reserve Sailors, Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) candidates and Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) programs to promote good decision making processes, enabling leadership development and influence among peers at the most junior levels.
"We were very happy that the admiral wanted to see what we are doing here with CSADD at Naval Station Great Lakes," said Fire Controlman Seaman Sean O'Dell, 24, from Miami, president of the chapter who is waiting orders to the Tomahawk Missile School in Dam Neck, Va.
"I think it's important that we were able to tell him that we are actively and successfully getting (TSC) students involved in volunteer opportunities and sports and other events here on base. Having the admiral come here and see firsthand what we are doing and what the Sailors are doing is one of the best things they can do. It shows the students that they care and they are involved in the day-to-day lives of the Sailors that are here and what we are doing to better ourselves and make ourselves ready Sailors for the fleet."
CNP spent the rest of his first day touring the schools and training facilities at TSC. He visited and talked with NMTI instructors, facilitators and students at schools under the command of Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU), such as, Boatswain's Mate, Operations Specialist, Quartermaster and Hull Technician "A" Schools. He also visited the SEAL Pre-BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition) and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Preparatory schools.
"It was an outstanding opportunity to show the Chief of Naval Personnel what we do here and what our goals are to instruct our students before they make it to the fleet," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Jeremy Allan, 34, from Boston, and the Surface Common Corps Leading Petty Officer at BM "A" School.
While at the school Allan escorted CNP on board USS White Hat, a replica of a ship inside the school building that teaches future boatswain mates line handling, underway replenishing, hoisting the anchor and lowering and raising small boats.
"I think it's very important for your higher chain of command to visit training commands and to know what you do on a daily basis," said Allan.
On his second day at Great Lakes, Moran visited RTC. He then ate lunch with several soon-to-graduate recruits and held an all hands call for Sailors at RTC with the other area commands.
"One of the central skills sets we try and imbue in all Sailors that come to Great Lakes is the notion of standing the watch and being responsible for their duty at any given time and place. We are standing the watch for our nation," said Moran. "We are out there preserving our freedom around the world."
CNP also held an question and answer period where he answered questions on manning, rate mergers and the budget.
"Things are tight and will get tighter," said Moran. "But as CNP, I will work on behalf of Sailors and their families to make actions match words and earn your trust. I will work to balance the force with the right number of Sailors, make sure they are in the right jobs, and have the right skills. No matter how technically advanced our Navy becomes, it will always be the people, men and women like you, that will continue to stand the watch and continue to make our Navy the finest the world has ever known."