R 201954Z NOV 20 MID200000403862U
FM SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
INFO SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
CNO WASHINGTON DC
CMC WASHINGTON DC
MSGID/GENADMIN/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC/-/NOV//
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