MESSAGE FOR CHIEF SELECTS FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

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R 201954Z NOV 20 MID200000403862U

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SUBJ/MESSAGE FOR CHIEF SELECTS FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY//

RMKS/1.  Shipmates, a reporter once joined Fleet Admiral William "Bull" 
Halsey at an event in Los Angeles, honoring his service in World War II.  The 
event featured active and retired Chief Petty Officers who had served 
alongside the Admiral in Peace and in War.  As they were passing through the 
lines, the reporter noticed a wink and a warm smile pass between Halsey and 
one of the oldest retirees.

The reporter later asked about the exchange, and Halsey replied, "That man 
was my Chief when I was an Ensign, and no one before or after taught me as 
much about ships or men as he did.  You civilians don't understand.  You go 
down to Long Beach, and you see those battleships sitting there, and you 
think that they float on the water, don't you?"  When the reporter replied 
that he supposed they did, Admiral Halsey said, "You are wrong.  They're 
carried to sea on the backs of those Chief Petty Officers!"
Like Admiral Halsey, I have benefitted from the service and guidance of 
Chiefs throughout my career, starting with the first Chief Petty Officer I 
ever met, Chief Archie Wilfong who was one of my high school instructors.  He 
helped me understand the critical importance of hands on, deckplate 
leadership, setting the tone and example for all who serve.  Those lessons 
persisted throughout my own career as a Naval officer and continue every day 
I serve as your Secretary.

I have consistently continued to progress in life because of the Chiefs, 
Senior Chiefs, and Master Chiefs who have provided me counsel and guidance 
along the course of my career.  These included Chief Jay Davidson, a combat 
decorated photo journalist, who was "My Chief" aboard USS AMERICA, to Senior 
Chief Heidi Wasson, who served alongside me first with Combat Camera in Iraq 
and then in Pakistan in 2005-2006.  Today, retired Master Chief John 
Williams, who I was fortunate to serve with at several stages of my career, 
from Lieutenant to Rear Admiral, has joined me as my Deputy Chief of Staff, 
ensuring that there is always a strong enlisted voice and advocate at the 
table in all of my meetings and decisions.

Last month we commissioned USS DELBERT BLACK, honoring the Navy's first 
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, and by extension, honoring every 
member of the Goat Locker who has ever served.  It was a virtual ceremony  
not because of the pandemic, but because there's not a pier in this world 
large enough to accommodate all of the Chief Petty Officers who wanted to 
attend.  They are a special part of our Navy's Legacy, justifiably proud of 
their history and their service to our Fleet.

This week we are honored to add the names of our newest Chief Selects to 
their hallowed ranks.  On behalf of all your Shipmates, I offer to all Chief 
Selectees, Active and Reserve, a sincere Bravo Zulu on this important 
milestone in your career.  It is one that you will undoubtedly remember 
forever.  But it also means that you must uphold the sacred charge of leading 
the Sailors entrusted to your care while mentoring Junior Officers and 
advising Senior Officers alike.  I am confident you are up for the challenge  
Full Speed Ahead!

I also offer a heartfelt "BZ" to every Chief, Senior Chief, and Master Chief 
and the families that serve at their side.  On behalf of our entire Navy 
Family thank you for powering our Navy, from the deckplate to the great 
Chiefs who serve alongside me in the E-Ring.  You are a breed apart, the keel 
of our force and an ongoing inspiration to us all.  Semper Fortis!

2.  Released by the Honorable Kenneth J. Braithwaite, Secretary of the 
Navy.//

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