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Message from MCPON: Committed to Excellence and the Fair Treatment of All

Message from MCPON: Committed to Excellence and the Fair Treatment of All

OFFICE OF THE MASTER CHIEF PETTY OFFICER OF THE NAVY ·
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020 · 2 MINUTES

“We have all seen the tragic headlines and subsequent turbulent events of  the past several days, from Minneapolis to Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles – borne perhaps out of historic and systemic issues of injustice that our country continues to confront, but make no mistake – this affects and impacts every citizen of our great Nation.

The strength of our mighty Navy comes from our ability to rise above our disparate backgrounds, our diverse cultural upbringing and history, in order to present a united front and fight as one team. We proudly embrace our diversity, the very core of our strength, and it is because we represent every race, color and creed that makes up the fabric of America that we can truly represent this nation so undeniably well.

As Sailors, we cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind. We must actively speak out and work to fight it, as it works against the very tenets of “team” that make us successful in combat. It is your absolute right afforded under the constitution to express yourself, but as events unfold and potentially devolve into violence or unlawful behavior, I would ask that you look out for both your fellow shipmates AND your fellow citizens. Keep them from harm and try to deal with problems you see at the lowest possible level – reach out to them directly if you can, but exercise good judgment in order to be sure a dangerous situation does not spin out of control. If you see  something, say something.

Honoring Sailor legacies like Dorie Miller and Carl Brashear is so important, but it is equally important to seek the perspective and context of our shipmates of color we serve alongside today. I’m so proud that our Navy & Marine Corps Team continues to evolve for the future fight, leveraging our diversity of background and thought, and truly hope each of you continues that evolution within your own sphere of influence.”

-MCPON Russell Smith

Racial Tension in America Requires Intrusive Military Leadership

Racial Tension in America Requires Intrusive Military Leadership

Military leaders can invite the uncomfortable but necessary conversation just by asking, ‘Are you okay?’

By Commander Marcus A. Canady, U.S. Coast Guard

Read more…

NNOA President Shares Opinion for Eliciting Positive Action for Constructive Change in our Nation

NNOA President Shares Opinion for Eliciting Positive Action for Constructive Change in our Nation

President’s Message

Sinclair M Harris

Rear Admiral United States Navy (Retired)

President, National Naval Officers Association (NNOA)

Dear NNOA Shipmates,

Today, I want to reach out to you in light of the recent disheartening and deleterious events that have caused demonstrations and violence across our nation. I know some of you are asking yourselves, “Why should I serve a country that seems to have so little regard for me as a person of color.” I have received calls, emails, and texts from people of all ranks and ethnicities voicing their despondence and anger. “This is not the country that I swore to support and defend” are words I have heard from several, including white officers.

It is important for us to be frank about the circumstances that are the cause of this agitation:

• The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many others at the hands of law enforcement officials and vigilantes.
• Disproportionate illness and death from COVID-19, highlighting a healthcare system that has failed to serve people of color equally.
• Systematic and institutional racism and sexism that keeps the highest ranks of our military from being as diverse as the majority of its members.
• Unfair treatment of people of color by our justice system.
• Economic inequality within our communities.

I am sure that many of you can add a number of other injustices to this list of grievances. You and I wonder, pray, meditate, “What must one do in the face of these events? How should we share our perspectives to make our institutions more just? How should we address these matters with some who don’t share our experiences and perspectives?” I don’t have a perfect answer for you, but I will share my opinion and hope that it serves to elicit positive action for constructive change. Now is the time for leaders to step forward with calmness, fortitude, and
wisdom in the face of anger and mistrust.

Speak up.
This is not a time for silence. This is our country and our Constitution, and it deserves leadership in the worst of times as it does in the best of times. If you are leading others, they need to know what you think and why you continue to serve with honor. They need to know that the Constitution to which we all have sworn allegiance still dictates our actions. And that now, as ever, we fight for our nation to live up to the words in the Constitution for each and every one of us. Frederick Douglass reminds us all, “No Struggle…No Progress”; Adam Clayton Powell
told us, “Keep the Faith Baby”; Mahalia Jackson sang, “Keep Your Hand to the Plow”; and Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Stand up.
Our military continues to be a meritocracy, but it is not a perfect one. This is not new to us. Performance matters most and many feel that people of color, women, and others have to work harder to prove themselves able and be recognized for our work. Our predecessors felt the
same way and yet pressed forward. Remember Wesley Brown, Vice Admiral Sam Gravely, Harriet Pickens, Frances Wills, Dorie Miller, and the Golden 13. Remember Fred Branch, LtGen Frank Petersen, the Montford Point Marines. Remember CAPT Bobbie Wilks, Dr. Olivia
Hooker, and the lifesavers of Pea Island. Remember all these heroes and the many more who have stood the watch in spite of what was happening at the time. They fought in their day so we could continue the good fight in ours.

Build Trust.
In service to our nation, we entrust our lives to one another each and every day. As the foundation of our service is trust, we must be clear that injustice destroys these bonds of trust. At the same time, our actions must demonstrate that we uphold our most solemn responsibilities to our shipmates and the nation. 

I thank you all for your service to our nation and the many sacrifices that you and your family have made for our country. Please let me know your thoughts, your opinions, and hear your voices.

Thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Sinclair M Harris
Rear Admiral United States Navy (Retired)
President, National Naval Officers Association (NNOA)

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NNOA Congratulates the 2020 HBCU Graduates

NNOA Congratulates the 2020 HBCU Graduates

MIDN 1/C Phillip Mooney

Southern University

MIDN 1/C Cecori Squires

Howard University

MIDN 1/C Talese Simley

Spelman College

MIDN 1/C Samuel Crook

Morehouse College

MIDN 1/C Joseph Franco

Prairie View University

MIDN 1/C Zachary Allen

FAMU

MIDN 1/C Bobby J. Robinson

Savannah State University

MIDN 1/C Ashlei Goodman

Hampton University

MIDN 1/C Allen Benin

Norfolk State

MIDN 1/C Rynel Marshall

Tuskegee University

MIDN 1/C Cecori Squires

Howard University

MIDN 1/C Talese Simley

Spelman College

MIDN 1/C Samuel Crook

Morehouse College

MIDN 1/C Phillip Mooney

Southern University

MIDN 1/C Bobby J. Robinson

Savannah State University

MIDN 1/C Ashlei Goodman

Hampton University

MIDN 1/C Allen Benin

Norfolk State

MIDN 1/C Rynel Marshall

Tuskegee University

MIDN 1/C Joseph Franco

Prairie View University

MIDN 1/C Zachary Allen

FAMU

College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative Program (CSPI)

College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative Program (CSPI)

The College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) is a scholarship program designed for college juniors and seniors attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities who demonstrate a high caliber of academic and leadership excellence. Students and program graduates share their experience.