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Below is a transcript of the remarks as delivered:
Secretary Austin, Secretary Hicks, Chairman Milley, Secretary Del Toro, Service Chiefs, Fleet Commanders, Senior Enlisted Leaders, Former CNOs, leaders of Industry, and distinguished guests. Thank you for honoring this ceremony with your presence.
Admiral Gilday, as the sun sets on your extraordinary career, let me add my voice to the chorus of voices expressing our gratitude to you and your family.
Your vision and transformational leadership these past four years has laid the foundation on which we are building our Navy’s readiness for today… while designing the fleet of tomorrow. At the outset of this decisive decade, you have prepared us to lead… and to win.
I join our Sailors from around the world in thanking you, Linda, and your family for your service, sacrifice, and steadfast devotion to our Navy and our Navy families. We wish you all fair winds and following seas for your many voyages to come.
As Admiral Gilday highlighted, no one reaches this level of leadership on their own. We all follow in the footsteps of mentors and friends who guide us with their example… I am blessed by having too many to name today, but thank you all for inspiring me to lead, as you have, with integrity, passion, and conviction.
As I assume the duties of the Chief of Naval Operations, I will continue to rely on the strength, love, and support of my husband Jim, our rising high-school senior Isabel, my sister Meg, my brother Lawrence, my Uncle Lin, Aunt Sue… and my Mom and Dad who are here in spirit.
Navy readiness is anchored to family readiness, and just as I am grateful to my own family, I am grateful to all our incredible Navy families for the support they provide to their Sailors every day.
To Secretary Austin and Secretary Del Toro, thank you for your leadership and for your advocacy for our Navy. You help ensure that we have nothing less than the very best ships, submarines, aircraft, and combat systems in the world, as well as the most resilient, most professional, best-trained warfighters. As Vice Chief of Naval Operations, I’m incredibly proud to lead this extraordinary team.
Our Sailors and Civilians are patriots who come together from across the rich fabric of America to serve a cause greater than themselves. As potential adversaries work every day to out-build and out-gun us, it is our Sailors and civilians who deliver our true warfighting advantage… on, under, and above the seas.
As we look to the horizon and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead, I will act with a sense of urgency to ensure our Sailors have everything they need to maintain our warfighting edge.
Ladies and gentlemen, in closing . . . For the past 247 years, the U.S. Navy has stood the watch. We, along with the Marine Corps, are America’s Away Team … around the world… around the clock.
As we look to the future, our mission continues, undisrupted and unabated. We fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows… so that others can too. We often sail at the point of friction with would-be adversaries… and always at the point of friendship with those who support the cause of freedom around the world.
To our allies and partners: know that you have no more trusted friend than us.
To our competitors: know that you will have no more determined adversary . . . than us.
And to our fellow Americans, be confident in the knowledge that your United States Navy has the watch.
Thank you very much.
Adm. Lisa Franchetti
14 August 2023
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