Greenert Becomes Chief of Naval Operations, Roughead Steps Down

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2011 — Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Green­ert became the 30th chief of naval oper­a­tions dur­ing a change of com­mand cer­e­mo­ny today at the U.S. Naval Acad­e­my in Annapo­lis, Md.

Chief of Naval Oper­a­tions Adm. Gary Roug­head pass­es com­mand to Adm. Jonathan Green­ert dur­ing a cer­e­mo­ny at the U.S. Naval Acad­e­my, Sept. 23, 2011. Green­ert became the 30th chief of naval oper­a­tions.
U.S. Navy pho­to by Pet­ty Offi­cer 1st Class Chad Runge
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Green­ert accept­ed the Navy’s high­est mil­i­tary post from Adm. Gary Roug­head, who will retire Sept. 30 from the post he has held since Sep­tem­ber 2007. Both offi­cers are Naval Acad­e­my grad­u­ates; Roug­head, in 1973, and Green­ert, in 1975. Green­ert, who pre­vi­ous­ly served as vice chief of naval oper­a­tions, will now become a mem­ber of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that capac­i­ty, he will serve as prin­ci­pal naval advis­er to Navy Sec­re­tary Ray Mabus and Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma.

Mabus said the Navy will go through a trans­par­ent tran­si­tion with Adm. Green­ert now serv­ing as its top offi­cer.

“Admi­ral Roughead’s con­tri­bu­tions may be hard if not impos­si­ble to sur­pass, but I am con­fi­dent that if any­one can match them it is Jon Green­ert,” Mabus said.

Green­ert praised Roughead’s exam­ple and said he would strive to fol­low it.

“My pri­or­i­ties, our course, are one, we’ve got to remain ready to meet the cur­rent chal­lenges today, we’ve got to build a rel­e­vant and capa­ble future fleet, and we have got to con­tin­ue to care for our sailors, our civil­ians and their fam­i­lies, and recruit and nur­ture a moti­vat­ed, rel­e­vant and diverse force,” he said.

Green­ert said he will focus on three tenets while in office: warfight­ing first, oper­ate for­ward and be ready.

“We will approach our chal­lenges and we will imple­ment our changes that will have to be done in the future with three tenets in mind,” he said. “They will be effec­tive [and] effi­cient. Our solu­tions will be joint and the Marine Corps will remain our pri­ma­ry part­ner.”

Mabus, who served as keynote speak­er for the cer­e­mo­ny, high­light­ed Roughead’s accom­plish­ments dur­ing his naval career while thank­ing him for his lead­er­ship.

“I don’t think any­one can ever ful­ly express how much we’re going to miss Gary Roughead’s coun­sel and absolute­ly unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to the Navy [and] the Unit­ed States,” said Mabus.

“Admi­ral Roug­head has had the genius and the skill to turn so many of the chal­lenges he’s faced into oppor­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

Mabus reviewed Roughead’s career mile­stones, includ­ing being one of only two Navy admi­rals to com­mand both the Pacif­ic and Atlantic fleets.

“As chief of naval oper­a­tions, his lead­er­ship has helped to reshape the Navy into the 21st cen­tu­ry, oper­a­tional­ly and strate­gi­cal­ly,” said Mabus. “Gary Roughead’s lead­er­ship skills fol­low great offi­cers and a will­ing­ness to inno­vate while respect­ing the deep tra­di­tions of the sea ser­vice.”

Mabus spoke about Roughead’s com­mit­ment to his sailors, and how he always made them his first pri­or­i­ty. “He nev­er lost sight of the pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ty of lead­er­ship — tak­ing care of the peo­ple entrust­ed to you and to the office you hold,” he said.

As Roug­head took the podi­um, he thanked his coun­ter­parts, both for­eign and domes­tic, friends and his fam­i­ly for their con­tin­ued sup­port and guid­ance dur­ing his tenure. He spoke about his unique expe­ri­ences in the armed ser­vice, espe­cial­ly in the rela­tion­ships built.

“There has been a lot of change, but through­out, there has been the deci­sive, con­stant and the aspect of the Navy that will be my endur­ing mem­o­ry — our sailors,” he said.

In an emo­tion­al con­clu­sion, Roug­head sum­ma­rized his naval career.

“To echo what anoth­er Navy man said near­ly five decades ago at this acad­e­my, when asked what I did to make my life worth­while, I will respond with a great deal of pride and sat­is­fac­tion, ‘I served in the Unit­ed States Navy,’ ” he said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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