Naval Surface Forces Command Philosophy

Commander, Naval Surface Forces Command Philosophy

Every Commanding Officer must prepare their ship, their crew and themselves for combat at anytime and anywhere. We must always look to the future; a time when we will be called upon to employ every combat system, engineering system and fellow shipmate to fight, win and return home. We will achieve success in the Surface Force by focusing on the following guiding principles of Good Stewardship, Professional Development and Safety. Once we are operating at the highest level of these guiding principles, we will Own The Fight!

Good Stewardship

Many of our first term Sailors are under five year orders. Their relief is in the eighth grade. Many of their brothers and sisters or our sons and daughters may be of this age and may also join the United States Navy. If we do not take care of your ship and her systems, we will do a disservice to these young Americans who may also be asked to steam her into harm’s way in the future, as well as those Sailors currently serving. We will ensure the highest level of care, cleanliness, and material condition onboard our ships as possible. Our good stewardship of our ships that the American people have entrusted to our care is a priority.

Professional Development

The professional development of our shipmates is a leadership priority. A crew that is well trained, educated and qualified is a crew that knows their ship and her capabilities. Additionally, it is hard to go to sea in ships – we ask much of our Sailors. Therefore, we must ensure that every shipmate has the greatest opportunity to advance through the ranks to earn greater responsibility and pay. We owe this to each other and to our families. A professionally developed crew will take care of the ship’s missions.


There is nothing short of actual combat operations that allow us to put any of our shipmates in danger. Going to sea in ships is inherently dangerous – we must not increase that danger by making poor decisions or failing to identify to the chain of command possible safety issues. Do not assume that someone above you has thought about possible consequences of an action! You may save a shipmate from serious injury or death by simply asking the question “Should we be doing this?” In all phases of a ship’s life cycle, we must continue to mature in our ability to identify hazards, apply risk management and correct discrepancies.

Own The Fight

The success of the Surface Force is measured by properly manned, tactically trained and effectively equipped ships ready to provide Fleet Commanders with combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore. To achieve that success, we will continue to build upon our enduring maritime traditions, optimize current naval warfighting capabilities and work with our Surface Warfare Enterprise partners to shape the Surface Force's future. We will OWN THE FIGHT and, in short, be the best, the fastest, the toughest and the smartest Naval Surface Force.

Commander, Naval Surface Forces

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