SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens concluded his annual Leadership Mess Symposium in Suffolk, Virginia, Oct. 24, which included more than 100 fleet, force, and flag-level command master chiefs.
The symposium was an opportunity to bring Leadership Mess members together to communicate, network, and receive information from MCPON and other senior Navy leaders.
The four-day event featured discussions on a wide range of topics including senior enlisted leader expectations, bystander intervention, ethics, and updates from the numbered fleets. Friday's schedule included a visit from Chief of Information (CHINFO) Rear Adm. Dawn E. Cutler, who spoke at length about the ever-expanding role of social media in today's world.
"This [social media] is here to stay," said Cutler. It has surpassed radio and newspapers as the source people go to to get the news and it is quickly surpassing television. It's not something that's going to go away."
Social media can have a far reaching impact, Cutler explained, which is why she encouraged the senior enlisted leaders to learn to use it effectively.
"People are information hungry, and that's the world we live in, that's the world that communication is so key to," said Cutler. "So we need to know it, we need to understand it, we need to teach our Sailors how to use it responsibly, and we all need to embrace it from the leadership level as a great tool to talk to our various audiences."
As the last day of the symposium came to an end, MCPON thanked the Leadership Mess for making the time to attend and participate in the forum.
"Bottom line up front, thank you," said Stevens. "As I said on Tuesday, if you're here it's because you care. So thank you for being here and for being participants in this year's MCPON Leadership Mess Symposium."
MCPON went on to talk about the purpose and importance of senior enlisted leaders coming together for the symposium - taking the things they heard back to the Fleet.
"That [communicating information] is what this leadership mess symposium is all about - getting information to you so we can get it out to the fleet," said Stevens. "Please do that."
During his closing remarks, MCPON reminded the leadership mess that the Navy is one very large family.
"I've been doing this my whole life, since I was 18 years old," said Stevens. "And when I look at you I look at you as family, just as I'm sure you look at your Sailors - as family, because that's what we really are. I don't just care about you, I love you like family."
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