USA: Chief of Naval Operations Holds All Hands Call at Pensacola Training Center

Chief of Naval Operations Holds All Hands Call at Pensacola Training Center

The Chief of Naval Operations held an all hands meeting at Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) on board Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola July 26.

After entering NATTC’s huge hangar bay, Adm. Jonathan Greenert was welcomed by a crowd of more than 3,700 Sailors from Pensacola training commands as they recited the Sailors Creed.

Immediately following the Creed Greenert conducted one of his favorite things to do, reenlisted three NATTC instructors. They were Air-Traffic Controllers 1st Class Chablis Mathis, Jevar Williams and Eric English. Then CNO quickly rolled into his message to the Sailors.

“We have got to be ready to fight our nation’s wars, and we have to operate forward,” he said. “We are the greatest Navy in the world because we operate forward. There is no one else who can operate like we do. Many countries try, but no one has been able to sustain operations like us. And that means you have to be ready physically, mentally and trained to do your job.”

Walking through the audience of young Sailors, Greenert discussed a variety of topics including the operational tempo of the fleet, force shaping and manning, and education. Some of the topics were suggested by postings on the CNO’s Facebook page, the first time he has used the social media site to garner questions from Sailors prior to an All Hands session.

Talking about some of his concerns, Greenert said there were three things that were problems for the nation, and also the Navy – the use of the synthetic drugs like Spice, the inappropriate use of alcohol and sexual assaults.

“Some of you may have heard about synthetic drugs like Spice and you say it isn’t illegal. But it is illegal in the Navy and we test for it,” said Greenert. “If you get caught using it, you will be thrown out.”

“We also have an issue with sexual assaults in the Navy and that’s a bad thing,” said Greenert. “You’ve got to look out for your shipmates, and look out for situations that may be developing and put a stop to them. Many sexual assaults are a result of the abuse of alcohol; we need to get a handle on that too.”

Following his opening remarks the admiral spent 40 minutes answering questions from the Sailors about the use of bio fuels in the fleet, women in submarine opportunities, new aircraft such as the Joint Strike Fighter and P-8s, the fleet of the future and what motives him.

“My motivating factor is working with people like you all here at NATTC,” said Greenert. “People who are not lazy, show up for work, really care about what they are working on, dedicated to the point that they will bring innovation to the workplace, working for not just money, but because they love their country more than themselves.”

Before leaving the hangar, the CNO recognized members of the local chapters of the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD), thanking them for their dedication to helping eliminate sexual assault among the ranks.

“I can’t think of anything so impressive as someone standing up and taking charge of solving a problem – and CSAAD does just that,” said Greenert. “Their use of innovative videos and social media to communicate their message of avoiding destructive decisions is outstanding.”

CSADD is a peer mentoring program for active and Reserve Sailors, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) candidates, and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets aimed at promoting good decision-making and leadership development at the most junior levels.

“Our chapter is successful because of the support we receive from the command and the enthusiasm of its members,” said Airman Kevin Montgomery, NATTC CSADD President. “Our chapter always has room for expansion and improvement. The key factor is that we don’t want to become complacent.”

For the three petty officers who reenlisted, their ceremony held special meaning.

“It’s a great honor, and definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity to have the CNO reenlist me in front of the students,” said Mathis. “You need to be committed as an instructor, because you are training your relief, and there is a great possibility of working with them when you get back to the fleet.”

Petty Officer Williams says he is grateful for the opportunity to continue serving and hopes that reenlisting in front of the students is a testament to dedication to service.

“I want these young Sailors to understand that things are different after “A” school and reenlisting to reach the 20 year mark or more is a testament to that. I hope they can look at the three of us and say, ‘I want to be that Sailor one day’,” said Williams. “I’m very thankful. I know the Navy uses ‘force shaping tools’ to reach their needed end strength, but being amongst the Sailors allowed to stay Navy is a great thing.”

Petty Officer English thinks that the need for quality Sailors becoming instructors is always a priority and something he takes seriously.

“Being an instructor can be a stressful tour of duty,” he said. “It’s a requirement for you to motivate your students. If you can’t show any passion for what you do, how are you going to inspire your class to work hard and accomplish the learning objectives? It will never happen. NATTC needs the best Sailors the fleet has to offer, or we jeopardize the safety of our fellow shipmates and country.”

Naval Today Staff, July 29, 2012; Image: US Navy