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Roughead Relieves Mullen as CNO; Greenert gets 4th Star, Becomes CFFC

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070929-08
Release Date: 9/29/2007 12:04:00 PM


From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In an informal ceremony Sept. 29 presided over by Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, Adm. Gary Roughead relieved Adm. Mike Mullen as Chief of Naval Operations.

The change of office, coming on the heels of Roughead's Senate confirmation Friday, was done without formality to allow Mullen to relieve Gen. Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Monday.

Secretary Winter awarded Mullen the Distinguished Service Medal, and praised his leadership.

“Thank you for your great leadership and for your great support and the teamwork you have shown during your tour. We will certainly miss you.”

Roughead -- who becomes the 29th Chief of Naval Operations -- echoed the Secretary's sentiments, saying he felt “fortunate to take over a great Navy.”

“As I’ve said on many occasions, it’s never been better. And that’s a tribute to the leadership of Mike Mullen -- his vision, his discipline, his drive to do the right thing all the time for the Navy, and alongside [his wife] Deborah, who I believe is the strongest advocate of our Navy families.”

Secretary Winter awarded Mrs. Mullen the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award for her efforts to support Navy families over the last 37 years.

“Remember,” he told her, “in our hearts you will always be part of the Navy family. Thank you very much for all you’ve done in support of our families around the world. I could not imagine a finer service you could have provided our Navy.”

Mullen ends his tour as CNO after nearly two and a half years. During that time, he focused on three priorities: sustaining combat readiness, building a fleet for the future and developing 21st Century leaders.

Mullen improved the Fleet Response Plan through the "employability/deployability" program, which preserves the Fleet's ability to surge while providing better predictability for Sailors and their families.

He grew the size of the fleet up to today's 278 ships and helped stabilize the shipbuilding program through a plan to eventually build a 313-ship Navy.

And he also advanced the diversity of the Navy's workforce through a comprehensive Diversity Concept of Operations and diversity accountability reviews, while focusing early and often on issues of family readiness and quality of life.

Mullen called diversity a “strategic imperative” for the Navy and a critical component of combat readiness.

“This is a democratic country and the military must represent the country,” he told participants at the Naval Sea Systems Command Diversity Summit Sept. 18. “And then externally, with just the expansion of missions, the places we're going, the challenges that we have, the demands that we have -- culturally, ethnically, mission-wise, wherever we go or where we're going to go in the future, diversity is an absolute must for us.”

Another “must” for Mullen was better supporting Navy families, particularly during times of need. He stood up Task Force Navy Family in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which had affected some 88,000 Navy Families. He said the Navy learned valuable lessons from that experience that proved helpful in dealing with larger issues of family support.

“It had a tremendously positive impact,” he said during a recent podcast. “The Navy is so big as an organization, sometimes it’s difficult to really create the kind of focus we need to help those kinds of families. There are a couple messages that come from that. One is -- tremendously important that we support our families. Family readiness I equate to readiness to do our mission. And we’ve got to keep focus on that. The second thing is that because we are so big, you need to set up a task force to go do something like this.”

An advocate of strong interagency and international cooperation Mullen also fostered the development of global maritime partnerships, known as the “1,000-ship navy.”

The “1,000-ship navy” is a concept that unites maritime forces, port operators, commercial shippers, and international, governmental and nongovernmental agencies to address mutual concerns. Membership in this "navy," Mullen maintained, is purely voluntary and would have no legal or encumbering ties.

"It is a fleet-in-being of nations willing to participate in global maritime partnerships,” he told an audience in May 2007. “To face the challenges we do today, nobody can do it alone. Many countries are looking for ways to help create security through an international navy. The barriers to entry here are very low. You don't have to join; you don't have to sign a treaty."

Such partnerships will likely be one element of the new maritime strategy Roughead is expected to unveil later this fall.

Roughead was himself relieved today as Commander, Fleet Forces Command by newly promoted Adm. Jonathan Greenert. Greenert previously served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources.

Mullen called Roughead “exactly the right officer” to lead the Navy and praised Roughead’s wife, Ellen, for her support and service as well.

“Whenever you’re in command you always worry about who you leave it to,” he said. “I can assure you I don’t have a single doubt today. Nobody could be better to lead the Navy in the future than Gary Roughead. And there’s no better team than Gary and Ellen.”

But it was Sailors who were most on Mullen’s mind.

“It’s a great Navy,” he said. “It’s been a privilege to lead it. We will cherish this experience for the rest of our lives. We will miss it. Most of all, though, we will miss the people. It’s the Sailors out there, and they are out there today very much in harm’s way, and we must always remember them in everything we do.”

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