By Rear Adm. John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific
Several highlights marked the past five days as an “award winning” week.
Earlier this week I presided at awards ceremonies for Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and aboard USS Chosin (CG 65). At region and MIDPAC, we recognized a diverse military and civilian team. Aboard Chosin, we awarded some stellar Sailors.
The best part of my job is recognizing our people for the great work they do— thanking them for making a positive difference as they support the fleet and take care of our families.
I know there will be many more awards ceremonies in the months ahead—many more opportunities for me to tangibly thank the women and men for the superior work they do every day.
Also this week, at a separate small ceremony outside my office, I thanked several Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam security team-mates for doing an outstanding job protecting us—they did work behind the scenes things that kept you and me safe without everyone even knowing about it.
Our Air Force/Navy team is professional, skilled and ready. I appreciate all they do to keep our installations and, more importantly, our people safe.
On Wednesday I had the honor and privilege of speaking to brand new chief petty officers and their families. I reminded them how important they are to the success of our Navy. Chiefs are mentors and teachers – not just for junior enlisted Sailors, but also with junior officers.
Chiefs are known as the backbone of our Navy. They are the go-to specialists who lead by example, support the chain of command, and instill humility.
When the late Adm. Charles Larson, two-term superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, wanted to improve the quality of midshipmen, he assigned a chief to each company at the academy.
Here is what Larson said he expected from naval leaders:
“Excellence without arrogance … That means that I want you to be really, really good at what you do, work hard, be confident, have a good work ethic, and have a sense of humility, [realize] that you’re not perfect, and you’re never going to achieve great results without the help of your subordinates.”
My advice to our new chiefs was simple: Lead with your heart and your head. Never stop learning and listening. Always treat others the way you wish to be treated. Always do those things to earn the respect we expect you will command.
Our new chiefs achieved their new anchor collar devices through hard work and a commitment to excellence—and because of steadfast support from their families. Well done! Congratulations to our new chief petty officers and to all their families, friends and shipmates.
Now, let’s all celebrate another award-winning week in Hawaii!