Recent allegations of ethical failure and cheating on tests in some of our military units must serve to remind us that, although the vast majority of our Sailors live our navy ethos and core values, we must always remain vigilant to the potential to make mistakes. This is particularly critical when it comes to integrity. A failure of integrity undermines a unit’s trust. As Sailors our very survival is founded on trust – it is the core of our success at sea – and has been for centuries.
In response to these recent incidents and the order by Secretary of Defense to conduct two reviews I felt it important to provide my initial thoughts in these three video clips:
1. What is the Secretary of Defense review going to look at?
“Secretary of Defense has directed two reviews. These internal reviews will conduct examinations of our nuclear enterprise. The reviews will also look at how as an organization we impart values of character and integrity to our personnel.”
2. Do you feel we have an ethics problem across and throughout our Navy?
“I don’t think we have an ethics problem across the Navy. But I think we need to reinforce our core values and our core commitment to that… Integrity is the foundation of what we’re about. We need to talk about that – it needs to be part of our training program. I’m not just talking about General Military Training, we need to talk about it in the ready rooms, we need to talk about it on the bridge of our ships, we need to talk about it on our squadron flight lines, in the hangar bay and in our bilges…
3. What do you expect from us?
“I expect honor, courage and commitment – commitment to the institution. We have to have the honor to not lie cheat or steal. We have to have the courage to not stand for those who do. We need to talk about it and I charge our leaders to talk about what our values mean because they are the foundation of what we’re about.’
Thanks for listening – I am proud to lead the hundreds of thousands of professional Sailors and Civilians who serve today, and embrace the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Whether you are on duty ashore, in the engineering spaces, on the bridge, in a ready room or hangar bay, I will continue to demand absolute integrity in all that we do; and, I will expect that you demand the same. See you in Fleet and I look forward to continuing the dialogue on this important issue. It is the foundation of what our Navy is about.
JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY