Chief of Naval Operations Visits USS John C. Stennis



Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick West visited Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the Arabian Gulf Oct. 8.

The CNO and MCPON dined with John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) Sailors, observed daily operations throughout the ship while transiting the Strait of Hormuz and addressed Stennis Sailors during an all hands call in the hangar bay.

Upon arrival aboard Stennis, the guests were welcomed by Rear Adm. Craig Faller, commander, JCSSG; and Capt. Ronald Reis, Stennis’ commanding officer.

After spending time observing daily operations Greenert served as presiding officer at the reenlistment ceremony for 12 JCSSG Sailors and took the time to greet each Sailor individually before addressing the crew as a whole.

During his address Greenert emphasized the importance of the missions that carrier strike groups, like JCSSG, carry out each day and praised their power, flexibility, sustainability and mobility while carrying
out the nation’s business.

“I’m really amazed being here on USS John C. Stennis,” said Greenert. “What you do and what you are doing today as we speak is at the forefront of all that we are about. Make no mistake about it; all eyes are on you.

Greenert also discussed the three tenets he plans to focus on during his tenure as CNO, which are warfighting first, operate forward and be ready.

“What I’m asking you to do, as you do your job day in and day out, is to think of these three things,” said Greenert. “We have some tough challenges ahead. We are shaping our strategy to fit the future. There is a realization as operations draw down in Afghanistan that we have been on watch with our brothers and sisters that are ground forces and we will keep the watch. There is understanding of the value of the Navy there.”

The CNO spent a good deal of time answering questions from Sailors concerning a variety of issues including the Perform to Serve (PTS) program, the future of the Navy’s role in Afghanistan and the possible consequences of defense budget changes.

Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Marianogerard Zamora, who had the opportunity to ask the CNO about PTS, expressed his confidence in the CNO’s ability to lead the Navy into the future.

“I had a chance to meet Adm. Greenert when he was a Vice Adm. working on the Individual Augmentee program, and his focus on Sailors as well as the mission really resonated with me,” said Zamora. “It’s reassuring that the Navy knows how to pick its leaders. I strongly believe we are heading in the right direction with Adm. Greenert as our CNO.”

The address ended with the MCPON leading the crew in a resounding ‘hooyah’ before departing the stage to greet Sailors. For Sailors stationed aboard Stennis the visit provided an uplifting and motivating experience. “Having the CNO visit us out here really motivates me,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Ezekiel Anthony. “It made me feel good about being in the Navy, but also about being deployed to this area of the world. It proved that the Navy’s biggest leaders really believe what we are doing here is important.”

The visit to Stennis was Greenert’s last stop on a tour that included visits to Japan, Korea and Bahrain, and it was his first official trip to a deployed naval vessel since his appointment as CNO.

Source: navy, October 11, 2011