The men and women of our Navy and Marine Corps serve with one common and noble purpose – to defend the Nation and the freedoms we hold most dear. It is with this purpose in mind that our Sailors and Marines are called upon to uphold a legacy of honor, courage and commitment forged by the generations who came before us; a legacy that is itself built upon a foundation of trust and respect by and for every individual Sailor, by and for every individual Marine; a legacy that defines who we are and what we value, whether we are on or off duty. It is our commitment to this legacy, to these core values, that the Commandant and the CNO call on us to renew while addressing the importance of treating one another with dignity and respect. It is a call to arms in the wake of recent reports of unprofessional and inappropriate social media behavior by some who have lost sight of that most fundamental purpose they themselves are duty-bound to serve. Our ability to succeed as a warfighting organization is directly tied to our ability to fight as one team – a team that treats one another honorably.
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.
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.
What we say and do each day represents who we are, there is no time off for Marines. We are all-in 24/7, and if that commitment to excellence interferes with your me time or if you can’t or are unwilling to commit to contributing 100 percent to our Corps’ warfighting ability by being a good team mate and improving cohesion and trust then I have to ask you, “Do you really want to be a Marine?”