PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- "Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it everything honorable and glorious."
That quote from Gen. George Washington was one of the messages in remarks made by Rear Adm. Gary Jones, commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), as he addressed the celebrants at the annual Navy ball Oct. 10 at the Mustin Beach Officers' Club, Naval Air Station Pensacola.
"Honorable and glorious. This is the legacy of the 17-year-old who started boot camp this week, the somewhat older admiral standing before you, and you -- my fellow shipmates gathered here this evening," said Jones.
The theme for this year's Navy ball, which was hosted by Naval Hospital Pensacola, was 'Exceeding Expectations Everyday: One Team, One Voice, One Mission'. According to Jones, nowhere is that sentiment more evident in America than in Pensacola.
"The Navy commands in Pensacola certainly exceed expectations in supporting our fleet, and this community has a reputation throughout the world as an exceptional supporter of the U.S. Navy," Jones told the audience. "The Navy has been part of Pensacola for decades. In the days of wooden ships and iron men, the sugar-white sands and pristine seas were home to the Pensacola Navy Yard -- one of the best equipped naval stations in the country. In its early years the base dealt mainly with the suppression of slave trade and piracy in the Gulf and Caribbean."
Today, Pensacola plays host to a variety of commands that support Navy operations around the globe. Aviation and cryptology training commands, international training, computer support, and medical commands are among those that prepare Sailors to take their place in the fleet.
Jones reminded the gathering that the Navy's role is different than other military services.
"People sometimes forget that the Navy mission is the same whether we are a country at war or at peace," he explained. "When conflicts are resolved, we don't pack up and go home until the next need arises. We are a persistent global presence, and we never stop working, day or night. Today's global economies and increased trade has resulted in an increased need for our presence and assistance. Consider this: 70 percent of the world is water; 80 percent of the world lives on or near a coastline, and 90 percent of the world's trade sails across it."
The Navy's role as a forward deployed force was a theme at Navy birthday celebrations around the world this year as the Navy marked the 100th anniversary since Theodore Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet" made its voyage around the world. From Dec. 16, 1907 to Feb. 22, 1909, 16 American ships - painted white to reflect the heat - traveled to six continents and made 20 port calls over 14 months. Their deployment signaled the emergence of America as a world power and provided a diplomatic message of peace and partnership to countries around the globe.
"We uphold that heritage, and we serve with pride for tomorrow's future," Jones said. "Those who serve this nation are many, and today we must include our civil service and contractors who join with those of us in uniform to preserve and defend liberty. As a team, we are continuing the tradition of service begun by those who went before us."
For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.