Happy Holidays Shipmates,
This holiday season, I want to tell you how proud Darleen and I are of the work you and your families are doing throughout the fleet. Because of you we remain the world’s greatest Navy. Because of the efforts of you and your families, we operate around the globe, 365 days a year, providing assistance to protect our national interests and providing the president an offshore option. This work does not come without sacrifice and therefore we are forever grateful, and thank you and your families this holiday season for your service.
For those of you who have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, enjoy the time off, you have earned it. But let’s not forget our shipmates who are currently standing the watch so that we can enjoy the time with our families. It is challenging to be apart from loved ones this time of year.
It is because of Sailors like Utilitiesman 3rd Class Crystal McDougal, serving with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four’s Convoy Security Element in southwest, Afghanistan; Engineman 1st Class Kenneth Gossett serving with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Twelve in southwest Afghanistan; Quartermaster 3rd Class Grace Thuerkoff, aboard USS Dewey (DDG 105) in the Fifth Fleet; and Seaman Hayden Humphreys aboard USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) in the Indian Ocean, that Americans are able to spend this holiday season with their loved ones.
Regardless of where you find yourself during this holiday season know that your decision to serve is the heart, soul, and strength of America. It is what sets you apart and makes you special. Darleen and I would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment and remind you to take care and be safe. You are always in our thoughts and prayers, especially during this holiday season.
We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
JONATHAN W. GREENERT
Admiral, U.S. Navy