MCPON Sends Birthday Message To Fleet

Story Number: NNS081009-01Release Date: 10/9/2008 5:34:00 AM
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From the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- On the occasion of the U.S. Navy's 233rd Birthday, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Joe R. Campa Jr. sends the following message to the fleet.

"My fellow Sailors, just as we do every year to celebrate our Navy's birthday, on Oct. 13 we will pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by our forefathers and by Sailors who have built the foundation upon which we serve.

We will talk of men with names like Jones, Black, Brashear and Nimitz. We will recall great battles and bow our heads in memory of shipmates lost aboard ships like Arizona, Forrestal and Cole. Our birthday is a time to honor all who have contributed to the traditions and history of our great Navy.

But it is also a day to recognize the service of a generation of Sailor unlike any other.

It's not just the naval heroes we read about in history books who have shaped our heritage. All of you are doing that every day on the deckplate. Aboard USS Ross, there's a fireman recruit who works down in Main Engine Room Number 1. GSMFR Rehnquist Wright's been in the Navy just over a year. He's from Macon, Georgia, and along with him and his shipmates aboard Ross, we celebrate our culture, the attitude and the enduring spirit of the United States Sailor. It's a spirit that was born at sea and cannot be replicated.

On our birthday we celebrate who we are and what we do with Sailors like him, working and thriving on the deckplates of our Navy. Fireman Wright may not be the most seasoned engineer on board, but he has the attitude and the swagger that has come to define us as Sailors. Ask his shipmates aboard Ross and they'll tell you the pride he takes in finding a way to get the job done.

Fireman Wright is living a Sailor's ethos of ship, shipmate, self because that is who we are. That's what we hold ourselves to and it defines us, as it has for 233 years. Because of Sailors like him, and like you, I don't see that ethos ever-changing.

It is up to every one of us to keep that attitude and culture alive. We will preserve those traditions that are unique to the Navy, and we must never lose sight of who we truly are. Every one of you shoulders the responsibility of sustaining our heritage and moving our service forward. I have confidence that you will because of the pride and honor associated with being a United States Sailor."

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Damage Controlman 3rd Class Jeff Schumacher, left, and Fireman Engineman Michael Kingen stand at parade rest while manning the rails on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
Official U.S. Navy file photo of Sailors aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
January 28, 2008
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