Greenert focused his remarks on the theme of “pursuing interdependence.” He spoke of a future that will be busier than ever, with a relentless demand for naval forces in a world that is growing more complicated. Yet the services will be facing that future at a time when the potential return of full budget sequestration and its damaging cuts looms.
Given these challenges, Greenert said it was time for the services to adapt and come together. They need to turn more toward each other, not away, during this critical juncture, and in the process streamline intelligently, invest funding wisely and insist on affordability.
In adapting, the services can learn to depend on each other, he said. He said the maritime services are inclined to pursue partnerships, but noted it was time to take jointness to another level.
Greenert said evaluating interdependence is a strategic imperative, and noted that industry had a role to play by helping the sea services help themselves. He urged those from industry in attendance to help the services enable cross-service synergy.
Prior to his remarks, Greenert was joined by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Navy League National President James H. Offutt to present the Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award to Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Selected for the Navy League’s highest honor for his “outstanding leadership, personal integrity, professional achievement and unselfish dedication to America,” Papp will retire May 30 after 39 years of service with the Coast Guard. He assumed the duties of the 24th commandant of the Coast Guard on May 25, 2010.
“Never in my career have I felt so humbled to receive an award,” Papp said.
Johnson said that, in his view Papp, has earned his place among American heroes. The DHS oversees the Coast Guard.
Greenert added that when Papp took over from Adm. Thad Allen four years ago, he was the right choice for the job.
The Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding leader from government (civilian or military), industry, or academia, whose life is in keeping with the example set by Admiral Burke. A replica of the Burke destroyer, created by Bath Iron Works, is displayed at Navy League Headquarters with the names of the award recipients. Papp will join them as the 21st Arleigh Burke Award winner.
Johnson has tapped Vice Adm. Paul Zukunft to become the new commandant.
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