This will be my last posting to the CNRFC Blog. I will be relieved on 25 September by RDML Eric Young and retire from the Navy. As I close out this blog, I’d like to offer some thoughts about our Navy Reserve through the looking glass of 31 years of service:
--We are an operational force more than ever before. When I entered service in 1983 our Reserve force was primarily a strategic force, a force structured to mirror the active force, a force that trained independently and autonomously and had a very structured, deliberate and lengthy mobilization process. While today’s force still has strategic surge inherent in its mission, we are now an agile, responsive, smaller force able to respond in hours and days, not months. Our mission sets run the gamut but we bring many more complementary capabilities, some found only in the Navy Reserve.
--Our force is ever more diverse and that diversity brings great strength. Our Sailors bring unique civilian skills highly valued by our active counterparts. As always, our Navy veteran accession source makes us a more mature and experienced force, one of our key attributes.
--We have become more and more integrated into the active force. Our Navy Reserve leaders need to continue to provide the active component with easy access to their Reserve Sailors. We do this through our Operational Support Officer network, the one-stop shopping place for every Commander to get operational support.
--We are lean. Since 9/11, we have re-shaped the force down to a head count of 59,700. We have focused on key capabilities and divested of any excess.
--As we start to turn the page on OEF and continue to deal with the fiscal challenges of sequestration, our force will need to remain operational. We must look for opportunities to take on additional capabilities. The Reserve component must do what we can, so the active force can do what it must.
As I hang up the uniform for the last time, seeing the talent, energy and dedication of our young Sailors of today allows me to transition with confidence in knowing those capable Sailors stand ready to assume the watch, manning the finest Navy in the world.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, shipmates.