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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Chief of Naval Operations Stresses Integrity to All Sailors

Navy News Service

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2014 – The Navy will continue to work on two defense secretary-directed reviews, including one to ensure that ethical behavior is paramount in the service, Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, said in a video blog posted this week.

Greenert said the service will work with the Air Force to take an overall look at the nuclear enterprise.

The two services maintain the nuclear triad of bombers, submarines and missiles. Senior leaders are concerned about the enterprise after allegations of cheating on a proficiency test for nuclear launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., as well as on exams for nuclear reactor watch personnel at Charleston Naval Base, S.C.

Greenert said his service will look at personnel programs, specifically, at "how we bring people into the nuclear weapons program, how we certify them, train them and the personnel reliability program and that's about maintaining proficiency and certification to be one that works around nuclear weapons."

The Navy also will look at previous studies. It adopted some recommendations of a 2008 report by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger and a 2008 report by Adm. Kirkland Donald on nuclear weapons management. "We took on some of those actions," Greenert said. "The question is how are we doing?"

Greenert promised to look to the future "to make sure we have the values embedded into the fiber of those programs."

A second result of the Malmstrom and Charleston incidents entails a thorough look at Navy values, the chief of naval operations said. "We're going to look at our values, at our integrity, at our character and make sure we are not talking past each other," he said.

"I don't think we have an ethics problem across the Navy, but I think we need to reinforce our core values and our core commitment," he said.

The admiral repeated several times that "integrity is the foundation of what we're about," and that sailors need to talk about this commitment.

While these discussions need to be part of the Navy training program, Greenert said, he sees this as going way beyond. "We need to talk about it in the ready rooms, we need to talk about it on the bridges of our ships, we need to talk about it on our squadron flight lines, in the hangar bays and in our buildings," he said. "And we need to commit to it full-time, because integrity is the foundation of what we're about."

Sailors have to have the honor to not lie, cheat or steal and the courage to stand up when they see someone lying, cheating or stealing, the admiral said.

"We have to have the commitment to the institution to remember it is not just about our shipmates — it's not just about taking care of them – it is about committing to the institution," he added. "When we raised our right hands, we said we would support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic and we will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution. And that means the institution."

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