Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday, in an Aug. 19 message to the fleet, pledged to prioritize both readiness modernization and people during his tenure.

Gilday, who was sworn in during a ceremony on Aug. 22, wrote, “For the first time in a very long time, we face serious challenges at sea around the world. For decades, we have taken for granted that no other blue-water navy would dare take us on.  That’s no longer true.”

He continued, “The U.S. Navy will continue to be a global force for security and stability.  But there are other nations who would use their maritime forces  to threaten the freedom of the seas, to intimidate their neighbors, or to coerce others in violation of international law … Still others know they cannot take us on at sea, but will try to attack our Navy in areas like cyber.”

In the wake of that changing landscape, Gilday explained that “rapidly modernizing our Navy and keeping pace with technology will remain a priority for us.” However, in addition to technology, he said,  “I still believe what my first Chief told me:  that people are our most important weapons system.  A well-trained force is our competitive advantage.”

As he settles into his new role, Gilday said his “FIRST priority will be visiting with many of you,” and added, “We will question our assumptions.  We will think differently about the  competition we are now in.  We will be the Navy the nation needs now and we will build the Navy the nation needs to fight and win in the future.” He noted that more detailed guidance will be issued within 45 days.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.