USS BOXER, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) received an early Thanksgiving greeting when the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited the crew in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 27.
"It's a true honor and a pleasure to be able to spend a little bit of time out here on this Thanksgiving holiday," said Stevens. "It's such a great opportunity. Words can't even begin to express how proud I am of you and all that you do each day."
Sailors aboard had a chance to speak directly with the Navy's most senior leadership during an all-hands call on the flight deck. Greenert opened the ceremony by administering the oath of enlistment to eight Sailors and presenting awards to several others.
"It is opportunities to come out and talk with you that really get us charged up," said Greenert.
Among the topics discussed during the all-hands call were the deployment cycles, sexual assault, budget and manning. Greenert also wished the Marine Corps a belated happy birthday and expressed his gratitude for the partnership between the blue and green teams.
"Welcome back to sea," said Greenert. "Thank you for what you do. We are supporting you and we will continue to do that. We've got work to do, that's why we're out here on Boxer because I want to get back and understand 'amphibiosity' as we like to call it."
Greenert also sat down with Sailors and Marines of the quarter and of the year from Boxer, Amphibious Squadron ONE, the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and other embarked units for lunch.
"I felt honored and privileged to have the CNO take time out of his busy schedule to sit down and eat with us," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW/AW) Andrew Lawrence. "He offered guidance, insight and gratitude for what we do and showed us that he values our input."
The CNO/MCPON visit comes in the midst of several celebratory events, including the recent announcement of the Navywide advancement results followed by the Thanksgiving holiday.
"It was an honor to host CNO and MCPON and welcome them aboard," said Capt. John Gumbleton, Boxer's commanding officer. "It is a great feeling to have our top leadership come out and recognize the sacrifices and many accomplishments our Sailors and Marines make every day."
For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.