Sailors Speak With CNO in Singapore
. Sailors Speak With CNO in Singapore By Storekeeper 3rd Class Tina Villalobos, Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs
SINGAPORE (NNS) — Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark drew his audience of Sailors close, figuratively and physically, when he made his first visit to Singapore as CNO on March 23.
Clark stopped in Singapore to attend a ceremony celebrating the arrival of the first U.S. aircraft carrier to moor pierside in Singapore.
The CNO told more than 200 Sailors to break ranks and form a tight group around him as he discussed his vision and appreciation for the Navy and its future. The covered patio of the Terror Club in Singapore shielded everyone from the sun as fans cooled the humid air. The patio was filled to near capacity, with Sailors stationed in Singapore and their shipmates from six ships visiting here.
He told the group about his “Top Five” priorities: manpower, current readiness, future readiness, quality of service and alignment.
“Item number one on the Top Five is the war for people, and that’s you,” the CNO said.
One junior Sailor agreed.
“I think that is very important for the Navy — if we want to continue to be a world power — to have manpower,” said Engineman Andre Howard.
Clark invited the Sailor from USS Hewitt (DD 966) to speak with him. With one arm on Howard’s shoulder, the admiral asked if he plans to stay in the Navy.
The 19-year-old wants to make a career in the military. His goals include one day becoming an admiral himself. Howard explained the way he plans to achieve his dreams. “Set goals for myself and achieve one goal at a time, and hopefully, I’ll make it,” he said.
Howard joined the Navy a year ago because of the opportunities and benefits the Navy offers — including travel around the world to see places he’d always wanted to see.
The CNO outlined his expectations for leaders. The value and importance of providing opportunities for all Sailors to succeed in the Navy were central themes.
Knowing the Navy’s leadership cared about its people and their success meant something to Sonar Technician 2nd Class(SW) Niki McClure, another Hewitt Sailor. “We can walk away from here knowing the Navy gave us a chance to prove ourselves, to be leaders. There’s a guy in Washington that’s working for me, not against me. In all honesty, I know that he’s a good guy and that means a lot.”