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Document: CNO Richardson Letter to Flag Officers on Navy Values

The following is a May 12, 2016 message from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson to Navy flag officers and senior civilians on leadership and values in the service. 

  • Curtis Conway

    Lead by example exemplifying our storied and proven values. I like it?

  • Ed L

    Shame that one act of non political correct behavior in the privacy of ones own home can ruin a career.

  • Dallas Iskow

    I do not believe there are very many of the current generation of Captain to Flag Officers having any intention or motivation to interact with and develop the officers under their charge exhibiting the traits detailed by the CNO guidance memo. Their motivation is solely enhancement of their personal careers and power.

    • MisoSoupies

      Unfortunately, this couldn’t be more true and blatantly obvious when walking around today’s navy ships. JOs are being told to not trust their Chiefs, that they are the deck plate leaders, and that their Chiefs should stay in the workcenter so they can be found at all times. A Chief’s job has always been to mold junior Sailors, to include JOs, in order to develop future leaders but this disconnect, which comes from the wardroom, rolls down from the same asshats who degrade their own people because that’s how they were brought up… Every O wants to have his/her piece of the pie, to feel superior over another person or people. Forget respect earned through trust and all that happy horseshit – respect is paid for by mom and dad so, pop tall and salute. And the vicious cycle continues. Officers who don’t train their own because it’s beneath them, they don’t set good examples for their JOs and they don’t trust the Mess.

      • Rich Pinto

        Similiar issues can also be found in the Mess….

      • publius_maximus_III

        Integrity, Accountability, Initiative, and Toughness — good qualities to have, but they should have been ingrained in those officers and their charges long before the USN ever got hold of them. Parents, other relatives, teachers, clergy, coaches, co-workers, bosses, mentors, friends — all have molded these individuals for at least 18 years now, so if any of these four items is lacking, it will be hard to instill at such a late date.

        Still, the CNO is like the rudder of the USN virtual ship, and without providing guidance for all by empasizing such core values regularly, they may be forgotten or ignored. It also never hurts to hear a word from our eternal sponsor, JPJ.

        Good letter, IMO.

        p.s. The Chiefs are the backbone of the Navy, always have been. They need to buy into this, too, or it won’t get very far.

  • BudgetGeek

    Anytime the head of an organization feels compelled to write a memo reminding the second and third tier leaders what the organization’s values are, it is obvious the organization no longer values those things. Otherwise, why remind them?

    • Chemechie

      I was thinking along those lines myself – I wonder if this is an indirect response to the ongoing Fat Leonard scandal and the fact that multiple Admirals have been ensnared in it.

  • Russ Neal

    These are what I call “soft values.” They are endemic to all corporations. They could just as easily apply to the Chinese Navy as the American Navy. There’s nothing in them worth fighting and dying for. No call to the values of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. This is not surprising given the state of the country. What should he say, value faith, freedom and family, or value the welfare state, atheism and sexual licentiousness? The nation is evenly divided on these things, so what are you putting your life on the line for?

  • Charles R Jones

    This is the best and most appropriate message to senior leaders in the Navy establishment in decades, and it applies to all ranks and rates. So many of those in high positions (as well as those in lower leadership positions) are in need of feeling that they have permission to do the right and honorable thing, and that they will get support from the boss (regardless of the follies of middle managers). Have not seen that kind of leadership since NIMITZ PRECOMMUNIT.