Sept. 21, 2015 – WASHINGTON (NNS) — Adm. John Richardson relieved Adm. Jonathan Greenert as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in a ceremony, Sept. 18, at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
Richardson became the 31st CNO, the Navy’s most senior officer and, as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a principle advisor to the Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Defense and the President.
The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, spoke to mark the significance of the event.
“We are here today to mark the change of command in one of the most storied, most historic and iconic posts in our military or any military-the Chief of Naval Operations,” said Mabus. “This job has been held by Leahy and King and Nimitz and Burke and Zumwalt-the very title implies action. It’s the Chief of Naval Operations.”
Mabus added, “It is fitting that this ceremony takes place here at the Naval Academy, where the Navy legacy and legend for both our outgoing and incoming CNO began.”
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, the senior Pentagon official in attendance, presided over the event. Carter spoke of the Navy’s many accomplishments during Greenert’s tenure.
“With Adm. Greenert standing the watch, America’s Sailors and Marines have been where it matters, when it matters – rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific, where much of America’s future will be written; reinforcing our longstanding NATO allies; supporting our forces ashore in the turbulent Middle East; and providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief the world over, in a way that only America can and does do,” said Carter.
Before concluding, Carter’s remarks turned to the future, adding “Continuing and building on all this work will be critical going forward, and Adm. John Richardson was a clear choice to carry it out.”
During the ceremony, Richardson took the podium to thank Greenert and his wife Darleen.
“To have the chance to work with Adm. Greenert – to have he and Darleen as friends and mentors, is like being an immediate family member.”
The new CNO briefly discussed his worldview and the optimism he has for the future.
“I think that deep in our guts we sense a shift in the world, and we sense that once again it will be vitally important to protect our interests on the seas,” said Richardson. “As an American and as your CNO, I am very optimistic. Because this is exactly the environment in which Americans thrive, and we will thrive.”
In his farewell speech, Greenert, after four years as CNO and 40 years of honorable service as a Naval officer, thanked those who served with him during his tenure, his friends, family and the men and women serving in the U.S. Navy.
“People are this country’s asymmetric advantage,” said Greenert. “We talk a lot about the Sailors, but it’s also the civilians-It’s also the families. It’s great American willing to do the job. They are our advantage.”
Greenert also praised his successor.
“Challenges remain, but we have the right team,” said Greenert. “Adm. Richardson has all that it takes, but he also has what it takes, and that is Dana [his wife], and they are ready to meet those challenges.”
The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations has established the following social media accounts for Sailors and citizens to communicate with and get information from the new CNO:
– Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/CNORichardson)
– Twitter (http://twitter.com/CNORichardson)
– Flickr (http://flickr.com/CNORichardson)
– Instagram (http://instagram.com/CNORichardson)