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CNO and Linda Gilday Issue a Message for Black History Month 2023

21 February 2023

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday and his wife Linda Gilday released a message for Black History Month 2023. Below is a transcript of the message.

VIDEO | 02:28 | CNO Black History Month Video WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2023) - Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and his wife Linda issue a message to the fleet for Black History Month 2023. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael B. Zingaro/released)

CNO: Shipmates, CNO Gilday here with my wife Linda to honor, to recognize, and to reflect on the many achievements of black Americans – past and present – for all they have and continue to do for our country.

Linda: Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976 by President Gerald Ford, and since then, we continue to honor and recognize the many contributions of black Americans.

CNO: Freedom and equality cannot be taken for granted, nor should it be. Black history is, and will always be, American history. I am incredibly proud that in the Navy – we are all one team, joined together by a shared purpose. Service, whether you wear a military uniform or a business suit -- is about leadership, it’s about caring, it’s about competence and character; and it’s about diversity, inclusion and selflessness.

Linda: It’s important we talk about leaders and other American heroes who have inspired so many of us and whose actions have made a difference for others.

CNO: During Black History Month, take the time to learn about the many incredible leaders and trailblazers in our Navy. Those like the Golden 13, Chief Yeoman Edna Young, Lt. Cmdr. Brenda "Raven" Robinson, Master Chief Mel Williams, Ensign Jesse Brown, and Vice Adm. Sam Gravely, among many others.

Linda: Don’t limit this discussion to February alone. Take time to recognize and celebrate the positive impact that black Americans have on the history of the U.S. and of the Navy. There is always an opportunity for us to celebrate and learn from one another about diversity and inclusion, and how it makes us a stronger team.

CNO: We must always learn from those around us. This Black History Month, let us recommit to honoring legacy with action. Let us continue our fight for justice, equality, and opportunity for all so that generations to come may stand on our shoulders and reach even greater heights.

Linda: We appreciate everything our Sailors, civilians, and your families do.

CNO: Linda and I thank you for all you do, day in and day out. Our Navy is the best in the world because of your selfless service and dedication. We’ll see you in the fleet shipmates.


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