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National Security Briefing ADM John M Richardson

New CNO Outlines His Agenda at Business-Executive Forum

Co-Sponsored by Navy League's New York Council
 
Written by: Jeff Bogart
 
May 3rd, 2016
 
The Navy's new Chief of Naval Operations, addressing an audience of New York business executives recently in a forum co-sponsored by the New York Council, Navy League, Ernest and Young and Morgan Stanley, described changes the Navy needs to make to respond to what he called "a very dynamic" maritime security environment.

The changes include learning faster, expanding partnerships--including those with industry--and introducing increased "flexibility" into the Naval Reserve and retirement system.

"There is an emerging competition that we haven't seen in many years at sea," ADM John M. Richardson, USN, said.  "It runs in parallel to these rising powers in China, Russia and even in Iraq and North Korea. All have increased challenges in that competition and have raised the stakes in the game so that for the first time in, I would say, 25 years, there is a legitimate competition for maritime superiority in support of our national interests."

He added:  "Not only have the competitors in this game changed, but I would say that the rules of the game have changed a tremendous amount.  And if we are not responsive to the rules changing, we are just going to be penalized for too many people on the field, we are going to be out of position when the ball is snapped, and we are not going to be able to keep up with the pace . . ."

In response, ADM Richardson said, he is emphasizing that "the Navy has got to learn faster; we have got to get out there and experiment more and move more quickly, improve more quickly."

Improved relations with business, academia and other groups are another of his emphases, ADM Richardson said.  "Consistent with being in this room today, I realize that the United States Navy is really just a member of many partnerships," he noted.  "And so we are focused on another effort to expand and strengthen those partnerships."

Still another element is speeding up the introduction of new technology.

These efforts, taken together, will "enhance our effectiveness at sea, operations and war fighting at sea and from the sea," the CNO said, adding:  "We haven't thought about blue water operations and combat for a long time.  So we've got to sharpen our thinking there."

ADM Richardson discussed possible changes being considered for the Naval Reserve and retirement.  The changes include making it easier for reservists to move between military and civilian jobs, taking time out for "life style" changes, and retiring with less than 20 years.

"There are a lot of models for Reserve service; I'm really happy with ours," he told the numerous reservists in the audience of executives. "The contributions the reservists make are absolutely critical to the way we do business.  We literally couldn't execute our mission without them."   He then noted, "We're looking to do even more, to be honest--to make that boundary between your civilian private-sector job and your service even more permeable so that we can take advantage of all of the skills that you bring--all that you've learned in your outside, non-Navy job--and be able to bring those in."

Also being considered, he said, is accommodating changes in lifestyle and career interest.  "We can be more flexible, more responsive to people's job, career opportunities, family opportunities," he said.

The flexibility under consideration might also extend to the Navy's retirement system, ADM Richardson said.  "What we are trying to do, in the interest of becoming more competitive and also recognizing service that might not extend to 20 years, is make some part of retirement a bit more portable, following the lead of some of the other places.  He added, "So it will be kind of a blended system with some portable types of vehicles and some that will kick in in 20 years, and it will involve kind of a mid-career bonus, I think, at about 12 years to see if we can keep that middle management, that experience base in the Navy a little while longer."  He indicated that there should be an education component, saying, "So we'll see how it all fits together.  But education is key."

ADM Richardson recognized and thanked the Navy League for its support.  "The Navy League does so much to raise awareness of the Navy and support the Navy everywhere we go," he said. "You may know that wherever you pull in, no matter where it is around the world, you can almost always count on the Navy League welcoming you."

Opening remarks at the event on May 3 were delivered by Nancy Altobello, Global Vice Chair Talent, Ernest and Young, and by Thomas Nides, Vice Chairman, Morgan Stanley.  Ted Mason, Captain, USN, (Ret), the President of the New York Council, provided closing remarks that described the Navy League and the New York Council's programs, including the Council's support of military briefings, its youth programs and its fall reception for Naval War College foreign officers.

New York Council, Navy League of the U.S.
New York Council, Navy League of the U.S.
New York Council, Navy League of the U.S.

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