Operating Forward

My first blog… I just left Bahrain and am heading back to D.C. after my first trip as your Chief of Naval Operations – and I can’t tell you enough how proud I am to be leading your Navy.
Nothing is as motivating for me as seeing you in action in the fleet. Watching flight operations on John C. Stennis as we prepared to go through the Strait of Hormuz reminded me how important your work is to defending our nation.
At each stop on this trip – in Japan, Korea, Bahrain and on Stennis – MCPON and I talked with Sailors and their leaders. In particular, I introduced some key priorities and tenets that I will focus on as CNO. I call them my Sailing Directions.
First the priorities. These are the three main jobs of every CNO:
Number one, we’ve got to be ready to meet current challenges, today. What we are asked to do, we have to do well – today, tomorrow or the next day. We need to understand what being “hollow” is and work to prevent it through manning, maintenance, equipping and training.
Priority two is we need to build a relevant and capable future fleet. We have to build the right ships, aircraft and submarines at the right cost. That’s our job. And we will have to balance this investment with funding the readiness we need for today’s challenges. That’s my job.
Priority three, we’ve got to develop and support Sailors, Civilians and Navy families. We need to nurture a future force that, in my view, is motivated and really wants to do the job. We need a force that is relevant with the right skills and is masterfully trained. We’ve got to draw upon the diverse experience and background of our people.
Those are three things every CNO needs to do. Now let me talk about how I plan to approach these priorities. That brings us to my three tenets, which I think of as lenses I apply to every decision.
The first tenet is Warfighting first. Because that’s what we’ve got to do – fight and win. That’s our craft. We should view each policy and investment through that lens and see if it really helps us to fight better.
Tenet two is Operate forward. We are at our best when we are out and about and able to provide off-shore options to the President. That’s what we’ve been doing for more than 230 years and that’s what we will continue to do in the future.
The third tenet is we’ve got to be ready. The Navy is out there for rapid response and action around the world. Readiness costs money, though, and we’ll have to make tough decisions in the coming months about where we will deploy and for how long.
So those are the three tenets. Warfighting first, operate forward, and be ready. Those are the lenses through which we need to evaluate our decisions.
We are heading into some rough seas from a budget perspective, but we’ve dealt with similar situations before. I am confident we can stay on course, take care of the crew and ride out the weather if we keep our gyro aligned to what’s important.
I will continue to use this blog as a way to let you know what I think in what will be a very interesting time for our nation and our Navy. I look forward to hearing from you as well.


Admiral,  U.S. Navy

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  • Curt Haggard


    Great to see a fellow ‘TOG is leading our Navy. Best Wishes for Continued Success.

    ET1(SS) ‘Merle’ Haggard
    USS TAUTOG (SSN 639)

  • CDR Salamander


    Welcome to the blogosphere! Very well done first post, I look forward to more.

    Just as a side note, I really like your clear and clean three priorities and three tenants. All our leaders can hoist that on board and apply that to their daily work in our Navy.

    Very well done.

  • Outlaw Mike


    I’m very pleased I don’t see the ‘D-word’ (for Diversity) among your three tenets. I’m glad that you make it clear that warfighting is the first and most important priority.

    Best wishes for success!

  • Arielle

    You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate. +1

    My blog:
    DSL Anbieter dslvergleichdsl.com

  • Mike Lambert

    Nice to see the most senior Naval officer in the blogosphere. Hopefully, your senior staff will follow your lead. Welcome aboard.

  • El Scotto

    Welcome to the blogosphere, CNO! I, too, welcome the return to basics that you have outlined since taking the helm. Warfighting and power projection is THE primary mission of our Navy. Everything else is secondary.

    Wishing you luck and continued success!

  • MaryR

    Welcome to the blogoshpere Sir!

  • FOD

    Welcome to the blogosphere Admiral. I hope you continue to write your own posts.

  • Tom C.


    In your blog I see communication from the Top to the deckplates. That is a great start and my wishes are that you successfully keep that communication open. We all understand the chain of command, but open communication is also a way for you to know what the heartbeat of your sailors are.

    I’m retired, but I see some great things that you can do as CNO.

    God’s Speed Sir

  • Weaponhead

    “Priority two is we need to build a relevant and capable future fleet. We have to build the right ships, aircraft and submarines at the right cost. That’s our job.”

    Is F-35 really the right aircraft at the right cost Admiral Greenert?

    Will it ever come down in cost or complete SDD? Will the cost overruns ever stop? Is one engine the right answer for the USN? Will it really be able to fly from the ship (at realistic standoff ranges) penetrate near peer threat airspace and safely return to the ship? Will it carry enough weapons to both prosecute a war in a timely manor and defend itself to and from the target? Will it really acheive air dominance over emerging threat aircraft?

  • ArchSysTech

    Great idea! Look forward to future posts!


    Your message is clear, crisp and relevant. I strongly recommend you continue to post you own blogs and continue to get “out and about”. Washington can become a magnet.

  • usnavyfitnessleader

    Thanks for your post Sir.

    With your leadership in the Bridge, I’m excited to stand my watch as a Navy Supply Officer and as The US NAVY COMMAND FITNESS LEADER online.

    At your service Sir.
    LCDR Spencer Baker

  • Tom Goering


    Echoing the others, welcome to the Blogosphere!

  • Information Dominance Corps Self Synchronization


    Your IDC Shipmates are glad to see you in the blogosphere! Welcome!

    Making time,

    Information Dominance Corps Self Synchronization

  • Edward A. Hughes

    Chief of Naval Operations,

    It has been a considerable length of time since the senior Officer in the Navy has spread his priorities in a clear and understandable fashion, which met the Navy’s priorities as I understood them to be when I was an active duty Sailor. To be prepared to meet the current challenges of being a warfighter at all times, to build and maintain the proper fleet and to properly train, and assign the highest qualified personnel to priority commands. And to constantly remain focused on the three tenets that you outlined are ideal goals.

    Very Respectfully,

  • Mike Lambert


    Your new Navy tenet posters are excellent.

    Vr/Captain Mike Lambert
    USN – retired

  • Armed with Inkstick


    Welcome aboard to the Blogosphere, sir! I look forward to getting to see your thoughts on various subjects presented directly to the fleet and the larger audience of the Web.

    Armed with Inkstick