"We believe in peace through strength - smart power backed by hard power," Harris said. "And this ship, hard power personified, sends a clear signal to our allies, to our friends and to our adversaries - we will remain laser focused on the Indo-Asia-Pacific because what happens here matters to the United States."
Approximately 2,000 guests, including more than 50 friends and relatives of John Finn's family, attended the commissioning ceremony.
The ship was officially placed in commission by Harris. Its Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Micheal Wagner, a native of Minnesota, leads the crew of 300 officers and enlisted personnel and praised his crew as worthy of the standard set forth by the ship's namesake.
"I'm truly honored and humbled to be standing here today, not only because I'm in command of the Navy's newest destroyer, but because I've been given the opportunity to lead some of the finest Sailors I've ever met," said Wagner. "The men and women manning this ship today are some of the finest service members society has to offer today. They come from all over the United States. Some even come from different countries. But make no mistake, they are all willing and enthusiastic about completing the mission. These are men and women of action, ready to go into action if required, just like John Finn exhibited."
The ship's sponsor, Laura Stavridis, the wife of retired Adm. James Stavridis, gave the order to, "man our ship and bring her to life!"
The crowd then witnessed this time-honored tradition, as members of the crew ran aboard the ship and manned the rails, as the ship's systems came online - radars and weapon systems began to spin, the chaff launcher popped, and alarms sounded - all symbolizing the ship "coming to life."
John Finn is a multi-mission surface combatant capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare. As a multi-mission platform, it is capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.