Much Ado …

The new Navy Ethos has been released after much research and requests for input from the fleet. If you listen closely you can hear tumbleweeds blowing through the pastures of people waiting for the poster to put on their wall.

Here it is for review. What are your thoughts? Post them in the comments and we’ll see what the world thinks about this.

UNCLASSIFIED//
NAVADMIN 318/08
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N00/NOV//
SUBJ/NAVY ETHOS//
1. IN THE 2007-2008 CNO GUIDANCE, I DIRECTED THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NAVY ETHOS THAT WOULD REFLECT THE VALUES INTEGRAL TO MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR ACTIVE AND RESERVE SAILORS AND NAVY CIVILIANS, NO MATTER THE ASSIGNED UNIT, COMMAND, OR COMMUNITY.
2. AFTER GATHERING INPUT ACROSS THE NAVY FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS, THE NAVY ETHOS HAS BEEN APPROVED. THE FINAL PRODUCT IS THE RESULT OF COMMENTS FROM THOUSANDS OF ACTIVE AND RESERVE SAILORS AND NAVY CIVILIANS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE ON THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND VALUES THE NAVY EMPLOYS DAILY TO WIN WARS AND BUILD AND MAINTAIN SECURITY AND STABILITY.
3. AN ETHOS IDENTIFIES DISTINGUISHING CHARACTER, CULTURE, OR BELIEFS OF A GROUP OR INSTITUTION. NAVY ETHOS IS DESIGNED TO COMMUNICATE A SET OF BELIEFS APPROPRIATE AND IMPORTANT TO THE MORE THAN 400,000 MILITARY AND 180,000 CIVILIAN PERSONNEL WHO SHARE A COMMON BOND OF SERVICE IN THE NAVY, REGARDLESS OF BACKGROUND, PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, OR POSITION.

4. THE NAVY ETHOS:
– WE ARE THE UNITED STATES NAVY, OUR NATION’S SEA POWER – READY GUARDIANS OF PEACE, VICTORIOUS IN WAR.
– WE ARE PROFESSIONAL SAILORS AND CIVILIANS – A DIVERSE AND AGILE FORCE EXEMPLIFYING THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF SERVICE TO OUR NATION, AT HOME AND ABROAD, AT SEA AND ASHORE.
– INTEGRITY IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR CONDUCT; RESPECT FOR OTHERS IS FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR CHARACTER; DECISIVE LEADERSHIP IS CRUCIAL TO OUR SUCCESS.
– WE ARE A TEAM, DISCIPLINED AND WELL-PREPARED, COMMITTED TO MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT. WE DO NOT WAVER IN OUR DEDICATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO OUR SHIPMATES AND FAMILIES.
– WE ARE PATRIOTS, FORGED BY THE NAVY’S CORE VALUES OF HONOR, COURAGE AND COMMITMENT. IN TIMES OF WAR AND PEACE, OUR ACTIONS REFLECT OUR PROUD HERITAGE AND TRADITION.
– WE DEFEND OUR NATION AND PREVAIL IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY WITH STRENGTH, DETERMINATION, AND DIGNITY.
– WE ARE THE UNITED STATES NAVY.

5. RELEASED BY ADMIRAL G. ROUGHEAD, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.//

UPDATE: After much thinking, I’ve decided to post an excerpt of an email exchange I had with a friend on this topic. After all, it’s not polite of me to ask someone to post their opinion on a topic without giving mine. So, here’s my opinion on the whole issue.

ahhh the Ethos. My initial reaction is “What was the point?” Why do we need a 6 paragraph statement to say, “We’re professional sailors, here to protect each other and the country. Carry on.” I don’t know.

Part of me wonders if the Ethos fits in the grander picture much like the 21st Century Cooperative Maritime Strategy, which really says nothing that the fleet can use to guide where our actions should be carrying us, as you would expect from a strategy (ends-ways-means anyone?), but it looks really nice when presenting something to Congress, the Media, and the general public on what we do and why we do it.

I think you’re right when you say it’s useful for a recruiter. It’s got warm phrases like “unwavering dedication to … family” which makes mom and dad feel ok about sending their baby off to sea, when we all know the number one complaint is family separation.

My main problem with it, other than the shuddering thoughts of how many hours and dollars were spent creating it, is that it is a half-hearted attempt. It’s full of buzz words and jargon (“a diverse and agile force”) that really mean nothing to me. It doesn’t strike a chord within my heart that makes me feel like, “THAT’S what I have to live up to everyday.” Because that’s what en ethos is supposed to do, tell you what you stand for as a member of an organization.

Personally, I love the Navy SEAL ethos. I think it does exactly what it’s supposed, although I’m sure it’s waaaay to long to fit onto a powerpoint slide and therefore wouldn’t make the cut. (http://www.navyseals.com/seal-ethos). But you read it and you know exactly where they’re coming from and what they represent.

Ours represents our willingness to waste time developing and polishing instead of using it doing something useful.

What do you think about THAT America?

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2 Responses to Much Ado …

  1. Joe Turner says:

    So, are you an Army of One or something?

  2. fastnav says:

    I couldn’t tell you. I’m thinking we’re a Navy of one who can do something for you at full speed ahead.

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