Official websites use .mil
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
Admiral Gilday, thank you for that introduction, and for your principled leadership of our great Navy.
President Reilly, CEO Stevens, thank you for all the Navy League does for our Sailors, Marines, and their families.
And to all of the Sailors here tonight, thank you for carrying freedom’s torch throughout the world.
You are the reason that our Navy has never been stronger, and our Nation has never been better prepared to confront a dangerous world.
Our Sailors and Marines stand the watch together, deterring our adversaries, extending power and presence on a global scale.
Right now, they are serving beneath the waves aboard nuclear submarines to hold our potential adversaries accountable with a constant presence, readiness, and lethality.
Right now, they are aboard the most advanced aircraft carrier ever – USS GERALD R. FORD, sending a powerful message to friend and foe alike with its first operational deployment.
Right now, they are redefining naval aviation with the reach and versatility of the F-35, even operating from the decks of our allies, and the agile flattops of our amphibious fleet.
Right now, they are protecting the vital sea lanes and shorelines aboard the world’s finest surface warships.
As we enjoy our dinner tonight, our Sailors and Marines stand the watch.
As Americans everywhere make plans for a peaceful holiday season, our Sailors and Marines stand the watch.
And as potential adversaries consider the costly mistake of challenging our resolve, our Sailors and Marines stand the watch.
76 Navy ships are now underway, and nearly 350,000 Sailors are serving on active duty.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 247 years strong.
Our mission is constant, because the threat is relentless.
From the Black Sea to the Indo-Pacific, totalitarian regimes are threatening the very foundations of liberty, self-determination, and human rights.
Vladimir Putin’s immoral and illegal attack on Ukraine proves that he will stop at nothing to gain power, placing Europe, and the world, at great risk.
Beijing is using its growing naval and economic power to violate the sovereignty of its neighbors, and threaten the sea lanes that power the global economy.
American needs to know that 90 percent of international trade travels by ocean.
One third of that goes through the South China Sea.
And over 400 undersea fiber optic cables carry over a trillion dollars in transactions every day.
The global economy, and the rules-based international order that supports it, depend on strong, distributed, and principled naval power.
The seas are the lifeblood of our economy, our national security, and our way of life.
That is why a strong United States Navy is required – to protect the seas and our way of life around the world and around the clock.
What a tremendous responsibility!
The National Defense Strategy calls for a “lethal, resilient, sustainable, survivable, agile, and responsive force.”
We are delivering that force through a unified strategy, rooted in three enduring principles:
First, we are strengthening our maritime dominance so that we can deter potential adversaries, and if called upon, fight and win our Nation’s wars.
Second, we empower our Sailors and Marines through a culture of warfighting excellence, founded on strong leadership, and treating each other with dignity and respect.
And third, we are strengthening our strategic partnerships, across the Joint Force, with industry, and with our international partners around the globe.
We are indeed expanding our maritime dominance through the Navy Navigation Plan and the Marine Corps Force Design 2030 – complementary visions for a truly integrated, all domain naval force.
Over the past year, we extended our global reach, and bolstered our integrated deterrence, from the open sea, to the shoreline, the depths and the skies.
Today’s Navy is far more powerful, far more integrated, far more connected, and far more distributed than ever before.
That provides more options to our Combatant Commanders in a crisis situation, and more reasons for the authoritarians and totalitarians of the world to think twice.
Our Navy and Marine Corps bring capabilities no other service brings – the readiness to deploy, persist and operate around the world without relying on foreign land bases.
We also maintain a formidable forward presence to hold our adversaries accountable, with hidden undersea platforms, highly capable aircraft, and surface warships of many sizes and capabilities.
Earlier this year, I embarked USS HARRY S TRUMAN as our aviators conducted NATO flights in the face of Putin’s aggression – and now USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH has assumed the watch.
In the Indo-Pacific, I stood aboard USS ESSEX and watched the Sailors and Marines aboard that vital amphibious warship work alongside our allies and partners during Exercise RIMPAC.
As a former Destroyer Commander, I’m proud of the speed with which Second Fleet surged USS MITSCHER; USS DONALD COOK; USS FORREST SHERMAN; and USS THE SULLIVANS to bolster NATO forces in the Baltic and the Mediterranean.
Ships, submarines, aircraft, and unmanned platforms are present and postured in every part of the globe.
These platforms are deployed to maximize sea control and maneuverability, through unified warfighting concepts like DMO - Distributed Maritime Operations.
As Admiral Gilday has detailed, DMO can be summarized with six Ds:
Distance, to hold adversaries at risk and maximize survivability through long range fires.
Deception, evading detection inside an adversary’s weapon engagement zone through stealth, concealment, and maneuver.
Defense - layered and in-depth, to deny or shoot down adversary attacks, and disrupt kill chains.
Delivery – with resilient supply and logistics chains, to extend time on station for our warships.
Distribution – the capacity, presence and power to attack from multiple places at once, complicating targeting and survival for the adversary.
Decision Advantage – to give our commanders the awareness and time they need to make the right decisions – and deny that luxury to the adversary.
Building these critical advantages takes investment and planning.
Above all, it takes the finest Sailors and Marines on earth, recruited, mentored, empowered, and prepared to lead our fleet and force into the future.
From every ship, to every base, to every shipyard and facility, we must operate as one, getting real about the problems we see, and getting better at every part of our mission.
We must constantly improve – investing in training and education, from deckplate to campus, to foster lifelong learning for all who serve.
And we must strengthen our vital partnerships, across the Joint Force, with industry, and alongside our allies and partners around the world.
This summer, we laid the keel on the first COLUMBIA Class submarine, and began construction on the CONSTELLATION Class frigate.
The security of our Nation for decades may hinge on the success or failure of these and other vital warships and capabilities.
It is, therefore, imperative that we must execute them with a warfighting sense of urgency, and an unwavering commitment to teamwork, quality, and investment in a strong industrial base, and a resilient supply chain.
We need to strengthen our partnerships with industry, with clear purpose, and a culture of trust and accountability.
Trust and accountability must also animate our international partnerships and alliances.
From allied Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea, to NATO operations in the Mediterranean, to Exercise UNITAS right here in this hemisphere, I have seen the power of our alliances.
These exercises and operations improve our interoperability, and strengthen our unity of action with both longstanding allies and emerging partners.
Most of all, they demonstrate the power of cooperation over coercion, and friendship over force.
Our partnerships and alliances are enduring advantages that China and Russia can never hope to match, as long as they continue to wrap themselves in a shroud of isolation.
Tonight we celebrate the founding of our Navy, 247 years ago, but we must remember that our brave Continental fleet was bolstered through alliances.
Last week I stood on the lawn at Mount Vernon, home of George Washington.
And I reflected on the letter he once sent to the Marquis de Lafayette, asking for naval support during one of the bleakest moments in the Revolutionary War.
“No land force can act decisively unless accompanied by a Maritime superiority,” he wrote.
“It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a Decisive Naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it everything honorable and glorious.”
I couldn’t agree more with that very insightful Army General.
A decisive naval force was required to secure our independence.
And a decisive naval force will always be required to preserve it.
As we begin the 248th year of our Navy’s history, you have my commitment that I will do everything in my power to ensure that our Navy and Marine Corps remains the best in the world for the years to come.
And I know the Navy League will be there for our Sailors and Marines, every step of the way.
So happy birthday shipmates, and may God bless all who serve in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Thank you.
Carlos Del Toro
15 October 2022
17 October 2022
Subject specific information for the media
Events or announcements of note for the media
Official Navy statements
Updates on sailors from around the Fleet
HASC, SASC and Congressional testimony
Google Translation Disclaimer