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Sailors assigned to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower read the reenlistment oath.


Sailing Directions
See what the Chief of Naval Operations has to say about where the Navy is going.
Leading with purpose and conviction

The ability to lead others is an elemental characteristic of service in America’s Navy. Here, natural leaders are drawn to the pursuit of positions of influence and importance. And emerging leaders are challenged to build their leadership skills through ongoing leadership development.

Meet some of the men and women who have answered the call to serve and who lead the mission of America’s Navy forward today.


The Honorable Ray Mabus

On May 19, 2009, Ray Mabus became the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy. His mission: to lead America’s Navy and Marine Corps, oversee an annual budget in excess of $150 billion, and supervise nearly 900,000 people. He conducts all the affairs of the Department of the Navy – from recruiting to supplying, training to mobilizing. He also oversees the construction and repair of Naval ships and facilities, and he develops policies and programs in accordance with national security policies and objectives. Prior to his current post, Secretary Mabus served in a variety of top posts in government and the private sector, including serving as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Clinton administration in 1994 and becoming governor of Mississippi in 1988 (he was named one of Fortune magazine’s top ten education governors).

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Admiral John M. Richardson

Admiral Richardson began serving as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations on September 18, 2015. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a bachelor of science in physics and holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, as well as a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College. His career as a submariner includes service aboard various submarines; command of USS Honolulu (SSN 718); Commodore of Submarine Development Squadron (DEVRON) 12; Commander of: Submarine Group 8, Submarine Allied Naval Forces South, and Naval Submarine Forces;  Deputy Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; Chief of Staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa; and Director of Naval Reactors. His staff assignments include duty in the attack submarine division on the Chief of Naval Operations staff; Naval Aide to the President; and Director of Strategy and Policy at U.S. Joint Forces Command. Admiral Richardson has served on teams that have been awarded everything from the Presidential Unit Citation to the Navy “E” Ribbon. In 2001, he was awarded the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership.

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MCPON (AW/NAC) Michael D. Stevens

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike D. Stevens was born and raised in Montana. He graduated from Arlee High School in May 1983 and immediately entered the U.S. Navy, attending basic training in San Diego in June 1983. Stevens attended Aviation Structural Mechanic Apprentice School in Millington, Tenn., and his first duty assignment was with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two in Rota, Spain. In October 2002, he was advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer and assigned to Fleet Composite Squadron Eight in Roosevelt Roads, P.R., as the Maintenance Master Chief and Command Master Chief. In October 2003, Stevens reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola and shortly thereafter assumed the duties of the Command Master Chief.

In August 2006, he became the Command Master Chief for Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron 14 in Norfolk, Va. In September 2007, he was selected by Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic to serve as the Wing Command Master Chief for the largest Helicopter Wing in the U.S. Navy. In January 2009, Stevens was selected as the Command Master Chief for Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. Following 2nd Fleet, he served as the 16th Fleet Master Chief for Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command from August 2010 to September 2012. Stevens became the 13th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy on Sept. 28, 2012.

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Vice Admiral Robert Burke

Vice Admiral Robert Burke is a native of Portage, Michigan, and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Western Michigan University and the University of Central Florida.  He assumed the duties as the Navy's 58th Chief of Naval Personnel on May 27, 2016.   Serving concurrently as the deputy chief of naval operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education) (N1), he is responsible for the planning and programming of all manpower, personnel, training and education resources for the U.S. Navy. He manages an annual operating budget of $29 billion and leads more than 26,000 employees engaged in the recruiting, personnel management, training and development of Navy personnel. His responsibilities include overseeing Navy Recruiting Command, Navy Personnel Command and Naval Education and Training Command.  

A career submarine officer, Vice Admiral Burke commanded USS Hampton (SSN 767), Submarine Development Squadron 12, and Submarine Group 8.  He has also served as deputy commander for U.S. 6th Fleet, Director of Operations for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and Navy's director of Military Personnel Plans and Policy.  He was recognized with the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership in 2005, and is entitled to wear the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (five awards) and various campaign and unit awards.

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