Leadership: Admirals Ordered to Get Out More


September 6, 2006: The head of the U.S. Navy (the Chief of Naval Operations, or CNO) has ordered his admirals and ship captains to get out more. And meet the public. Once or twice a year, whether they want to or not. Public affairs officer will help with the arrangements. The CNO wants these officers to get the navy better known to the public. This is now part of the navy communications strategy. The CNO is particularly interested in reaching "non-navy" audiences. While some admirals are grumbling about being turned into lobbyists, this is a strategy that has long been used by the other services. The air force, and especially the marines, have long encouraged their officers to get out there and talk to the public.
Sailors are different, however. Of all the services, they spend the most time out of touch (at sea) with civilians, As a result, the navy has developed an insular attitude, which has long been noted, and often ridiculed, by the other services. But with the end of the Cold War, and changes in military technology, the navy is not as sure of its position in the defense scheme of things. So the CNO believes some better communication with the taxpayers is in order.


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