​CNO MESSAGE TO THE FLEET HOLIDAY LEAVE PLANNING DURING COVID-19

UNCLASSIFIED//
ROUTINE
R 021410Z NOV 20 MID200000308838U
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO NAVADMIN
INFO SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
CNO WASHINGTON DC
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NAVADMIN 295/20

MSGID/NAVADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/CNO//

SUBJ/CNO MESSAGE TO THE FLEET HOLIDAY LEAVE PLANNING DURING COVID-19//

RMKS/1.  Shipmates, as your CNO, I could not be more proud of how our Navy 
has resolutely stood the watch during this extraordinary time of COVID-19.  
When parts of the world shut down in response to COVID-19, our operational 
tempo did not decline.  Together, we have rapidly developed and applied 
lessons learned so that our Fleet remains where we should be, forward 
deployed and ready for whatever challenge comes our way.  No doubt, our 
success is due to the personal dedication and discipline of all Sailors 
active and reserve, uniformed and civilian and their families.

2.  While I know that operating during COVID-19 has been hard on you and your 
families, your health remains my number one priority.  As the virus surges 
again across the nation, we cannot give in to fatigue and must exercise 
continued vigilance.  We must apply COVID-19 protocols at all times.  Our 
guard cannot come down, not even one inch.

3.  During the holiday season, this will be even tougher.  Force health 
protection remains our number one priority.  While many of you may not be 
able to return home this holiday season as you normally would, develop a 
deliberate plan to recharge your batteries, strengthen your connections, 
build resiliency, and simply take a break where you can.

4.  When developing holiday leave plans, I expect commanders to be mindful 
that our people remain our number one asset and the physical and mental 
health and readiness of our Sailors is our top priority.  Look for 
opportunities to expand leave windows to maximize options for your Sailors.  
Take a hands-on approach to find balanced solutions that allow everyone to 
take a well-deserved break.  In cases where individual leave plans are not 
supportable, be fully transparent and completely engaged with affected 
Sailors to mitigate the impact as much as possible.  If you are able to 
travel, carefully follow state, local and host nation COVID-19 regulations 
while on leave.  Personnel executing a Restriction of Movement (ROM) are 
considered to be in a duty status and ROM periods will not be counted as 
annual leave.

5.  Last, in the same way that we cannot afford to lose one Sailor to COVID-
19, we cannot afford to lose one Sailor, or member of our navy family, to 
suicide.  Be bold in having hard discussions with those in your circle of 
influence.  Be humble in admitting when you are stretched beyond your ability 
to cope.  Watch out for each other and be attune to the impact this pandemic 
and our OPTEMPO is having on our Sailors.

6.  Safe, healthy, and ready is how we want to enter 2021.  Together, we will 
make this happen.  For those who will remain forward deployed, defending our 
nation this holiday season, thank you and Godspeed.  You and your families 
are in our collective thoughts and prayers.

7.  Never more proud to be your CNO.  See you in the Fleet, Shipmates.

8.  Released by Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.//

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