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Monday, October 31, 2011

MCPON Holds Leadership Mess Symposium

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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Abraham Essenmacher, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) concluded his annual Leadership Mess Symposium in Suffolk, Va., Oct. 28, which included more than 100 Fleet, Force and flag-level command master chiefs.

The goal of the symposium was to deliver clear, concise communication on Navy programs and practices to the Navy's top enlisted leaders for continued force effectiveness. They received a full spectrum of timely information regarding policies and processes affecting today's Navy.

"Our Navy's greatest asset is our Sailors and it's critical for the Chief's Mess to be on the same page with challenging, leading and mentoring Sailors," said MCPON (SS/SW) Rick D. West. "A key part of our ability to achieve those objectives is awareness of the issues affecting our service and the resources available to make the team successful."

MCPON's Leadership Mess received briefs from several flag officers including Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources Vice Adm. John T. Blake.

Current topics including energy, budget and programming, suicide prevention, operational stress control, strategic communication, Spice, Fleet manning initiatives, uniform matters and the different phases of the CPO 365 program. Attendees also participated in group breakout sessions to focus on several current Fleet priorities.

"Our master chiefs are working hard with their commanders to ensure we are always mission-ready and looking forward to the next target on the horizon," said West. "This forum allows us to hear firsthand from senior leaders and subject-matter experts, and then to discuss those issues among deckplate leaders. The objective is for our command master chiefs to have the latest information that they can share with the Sailors in their areas of responsibility."

With significant budget concerns and other challenges facing the Armed Forces, West believes senior enlisted leaders need to possess a solid understanding of the Navy's approach to effectively balancing combat readiness with fiscal realities, and to shaping the force in a manner that preserves quality of service for Sailors and their families.

"We serve in a Navy that is always evolving and changing to meet current and future global requirements," said West. "If we are going to continue to be the best Navy ever, the Chiefs' Mess and our senior enlisted leaders must grow professionally and be familiar with every aspect of our Navy," said West.

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