MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) — Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John M. Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SG/SW/IW) Steven S. Giordano held an all-hands call onboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Jan. 24.
While speaking with more than 1,100 Sailors and Marines assigned to commands homeported onboard Naval Station Mayport, Richardson and Giordano answered questions on topics such as paternity leave, training and the Sailor 2025 program.
They also sent their best wishes to the crews of Iwo Jima and USS New York (LPD 21) well on their upcoming deployment.
"Over the past few months with your outstanding hurricane relief efforts, you have shown how the Navy can be the best partner and friend you can choose, but now you are going to get the fighting part of the ships going so people understand we are the worst possible enemy you can ever choose," said Richardson. "I know that you will go out there and do a tremendous amount of good and show what the terms 'Navy Power' and 'Uncommon Valor' really mean. Be safe every day and make sure that every one of you who leave come back home as well."
Richardson and Giordano also spoke about how they begin their jobs each day.
"As MCPON and I meet every day, we try to figure out the right decisions to help make you a better Sailor and help you perform to the maximum of your potential," said Richardson.
Many questions from Sailors regarded future advancements in the fleet.
"If you look at the numbers, you can see that quotas are continuing to go up," said Giordano. "It's critical that we help afford you every opportunity to continue your upward mobility."
"One of the major themes of today is that our Navy is growing," said Richardson. "We are building more ships, we are recruiting at record rates, we don't want people to depart the Navy. We want to help build a stronger Navy for the future and that means more opportunity for each of you."
The highlight of the call was the discussion of replacing Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type I blue undershirts with the NWU Type III undershirts.
"This is the third time I've gotten this question," said Richardson. "I think we can do away with the blue undershirts. Anybody have any use for the blue undershirt once we go to NWU Type IIIs? Anyone want to keep it? Okay, done, we'll kill it. We'll go to brown in the near future."
Following the all-hands call Richardson and Giordano took time to shake hands and take personal photos with Sailors before departing the ship.