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Welcome Aboard Force Master Chief

By FORCM(SS) Paul J. Davenport | Sept. 12, 2016

Aloha to all the Undersea Warriors, families, and personnel who support us! I am FORCM Paul Davenport and I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to serve as your Force Master Chief.

For more than 25 years, I, a small town Texas man, have given my heart and soul to the Submarine Force. I will leverage my wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for our Great Submarine Force to ensure you and your families receive the timely and accurate support you need.  We need all of you in peak physical, mental and emotional condition to continue delivering critical mission capabilities to our Operational Fleet Commanders in support of our commitment to maintain maritime superiority.

My first priority is to ensure our leaders have, or are working to create, positive command climates on our boats.  We must focus on team work, support, and a level of care that supports the professional and personal development of each Sailor.  I have no doubt that the Sailors we bring into today’s Navy are the smartest and most focused this nation has ever seen. Not only are they the future of the Navy, they are the future leaders of this country. We need to develop them as such by enabling and empowering them to unlock their potential. If your command is struggling to gain commitments from your Sailors, you may need to assess the culture and make necessary course corrections. Remind yourselves that this is an evolutionary Navy and we need every Sailor onboard with our Team in order to be successful.

My second priority is focused on leading and demanding our Chief Petty Officers across the Fleet to drive day-to-day standards. As a Force, we have work to do and I'm calling on my fellow Chiefs to take ownership of your Sailors and your boat to build team work amongst your divisions and departments.  You, the Chiefs, must recognize that our most critical assets are our Sailors and you must approach every day with their needs as a top priority.  Clearly communicate with them and be there when they need it most.  Train them, set a perfect example, and demonstrate what it means to take pride in ownership.  Make an investment in our Sailors so we can retain them throughout their tours of duty. Lastly, be great at planning and executing maintenance and operations.  It is imperative that we maintain our boats in top material condition as we continue facing economic constraints.

My third priority is to ensure our submarine crews receive the best support possible throughout their upkeep, shipyard, and readiness training periods, and most importantly, on deployment or patrol while in harm’s way. We must deliver strong performing crews and submarines in top material condition to our Fleet Commanders.  It is crucial that we continue to exploit the advantages of sustained undersea concealment for our Commanders to effectively employ our ready forces.  This can only be accomplished if we maintain and operate our ships with care and a strong sense of concern to sustain operations at sea.

After serving on six submarines  and deploying 10 times, there is no doubt in my mind that we have the safest and most secure job in the world, but I need you to join me and the Submarine Force Commanders in strengthening our Force for the future.  To all the families, know that for more than 23 years my wife and kids have made similar sacrifices that you are likely making now. In addition, our oldest son is being trained as a submariner, so rest assured that I stand firm in support of you while your loved one goes to sea in defense of this great country.

The next three years of my life are dedicated to the great people who make up the finest Submarine Force in the world. So as I conclude, I ask all of you to never settle for the bare minimum. Get out there, work hard and be a mature adult. Be accountable and competitive and I promise you, you will enjoy your tours of duty and be prosperous in life.

Now let's all get to work and take care of each other along the way. God bless you all and God bless the United States of America.

HOOYAH, SUBMARINE FORCE!