A Team of Winners

By Adm. John Richardson
Chief of Naval Operations

As our Navy sharpens its competitive edge, we need to be scrapping for every advantage we can get. Our adversaries are not going to hand victory to us – we’re going to have to fight hard to win it. MCPON Giordano and I need every member of the Navy Team focused on finding ways to stay ahead of our enemies. All of our energy needs to be focused on getting stronger, faster, smarter, better.

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (Sept. 8, 2016) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steven Giordano visit Sailors and family members stationed aboard USS Constitution. (U.S. Navy file photo)
CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (Sept. 8, 2016) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steven Giordano visit Sailors and family members stationed aboard USS Constitution. (U.S. Navy file photo)

One clear advantage that we have in this fight is our people. Our Sailors, civilians and families have no match – they can’t be beat. But too often, instead of focusing on winning, we waste precious energy on behaviors that tear our team down instead of building it up.

Toxic behaviors such as alcohol abuse, sexual harassment and assault, hazing, and other violence – at work, at home, or on the internet – eat away at team cohesion and erode trust. Toxic behaviors cause us to hesitate, to second guess, to look over our shoulders instead of moving together at full speed. Toxic behaviors make us weaker; they cede advantage to the enemy. Toxic behaviors are NOT for winners, they are for losers. They have no place in our Navy.

When we fight, we will depend on each other with our lives. The binding energy that allows that to happen is trust. Trust in a teammate’s competency to do things right. Trust in their character to do the right things.

Team, MCPON Giordano and I are 100 percent focused on staying ahead of the competition, on remaining the world’s most powerful Navy. Go beyond just treating each other with dignity and respect – that’s the bare minimum. We must work hard to make each other better. To build a team of winners.