PEARL HARBOR -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with Sailors and Marines stationed in Hawaii during all-hands calls at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) and Marine Corps Base Hawaii Nov. 16.
Mabus said the purpose of the visits was to thank service members for their hard work and sacrifice.
"The reason why I am here is because my time is coming to an end," said Mabus. "I am going to major fleet concentrations maybe for the last time to thank Sailors and Marines for their hard work in creating the greatest Navy and expeditionary fighting force that ever existed."
During his all-hands call at JBPHH, he said today's Navy is the greatest he has ever seen and it will continue to get better. Some of the many things he mentioned were how diversity played a major role in the Navy and Marine Corps' success, and the continuity of the Navy's focus to eliminate discrimination and sexual assault while promoting equal opportunity.
Mabus also said the fleet will see an increase in ships in the future, as well as more opportunities for service members to advance their careers.
He continued to praise the men and women of the service before opening up the forum and fielding questions from Sailors in attendance.
Many of those questions were about the enlisted rating modernization plan. He reiterated the whole purpose for the change was for the benefit of the Sailors, retention, and modernizing rates to better suit their civilian counterparts.
The all-hands call ended with Mabus making himself available to those in attendance for small talk and photos.
"I hope they took out of this how thankful the country is for what they do," said Mabus. "The responsibility of this generation of Sailors is to leave the next generation as great a Navy, or greater Navy than they came into. I am absolutely confident that they will."