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WASHINGTON (NNS) - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday issued a new “Charge of Command” to commanders Jan. 10, 2022.
The document highlights and lays out CNO’s expectations for commanders at every level and focuses on several key topics, including professional competency, integrity, character, and preparing for and leading in combat.
“The responsibility of command is absolute, and we take our commanding officers’ performance very seriously,” said Gilday. “We place a great amount of trust and confidence in our commanding officers, rely on them to manage risk, make decisions, and communicate openly and honestly, especially in crisis.”
Gilday said his expectation is that leaders use the Charge as a foundational point for conversations about standards of performance.
“Above all, Command, whether at sea or ashore, is fundamentally about preparing for and leading in combat,” the Charge reads. “Never lose sight of this - seize absolute ownership of your assigned mission, and all that goes into its accomplishment. When called upon to sail into harm's way, you and your team must be ready. Your command's mission is absolutely essential to the Navy's ability to fight and win. Imbue this belief in your team.”
Gilday also stressed the need for commanders to set the example for their Sailors.
“As the Commander, you are the example your team reflects,” the Charge reads. “Embody humility, selflessness, and complete transparency. Acknowledge the value of every Sailor and civilian. Take care of them and their families. Embrace diversity of thought and background. Foster inclusion and connectedness. Always do the right thing, especially when it is hard. In doing these things, keep close watch on your own mental, physical, and emotional health, and the health of those you lead.”
The last Charge of Command was issued by former-CNO Adm. John Richardson in 2018.
You can view the Charge of Command here.
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