NEWPORT, R.I. (Jan. 14, 2014) Adm. Mark Ferguson, Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), speaks with students, staff and faculty of U.S. Naval War College (NWC) during a visit to Newport, R.I. Ferguson’s visit came as part of a two-day trip to Newport and included visits to NWC, Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport, Surface Warfare Officers School, Naval Academy Preparatory School, Command Leadership School and the Senior Enlisted Academy. Additionally, Ferguson is scheduled to participate in an Executive Steering Committee discussion with NAVSTA Newport regarding Sexual Assault Prevention and Response/Sexual Assault Response Coordination. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl/Released)
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark E. Ferguson completed a two-day visit to Naval Station Newport, R.I., Jan 14-15, to meet with officers and senior enlisted students at several training commands on the base.
Adm. Ferguson was met by Rear Adm. Walter E. "Ted" Carter, Jr., Naval War College president, who said it was important for the students to hear directly from the Navy's senior leaders.
"We truly appreciate having our most senior naval leaders, like Adm. Ferguson, visit us at the Naval War College to share their insights," said NWC President Rear Adm. Walter E. "Ted" Carter. "Hearing what leaders have to say is an important part of the educational experience for our students, to include our joint and international students, and Adm. Ferguson certainly gave them much to consider."
During the visit, Adm. Ferguson met with students at the Naval War College, Surface Warfare Officer's School, U.S. Naval Academy Prep School, and the Senior Enlisted Academy. He also met with prospective major commanders, commanding officers, executive officers, Command Master Chiefs, and Chiefs of the Boat who are attending the Command Leadership School.
"This was a great opportunity to engage senior enlisted leaders and officers at various points along the leader development continuum and to underscore the importance of accountability and ethical behavior," explained Adm. Ferguson.
Naval War College students studying leadership, management, and strategy development enjoyed the opportunity to discuss these concepts with the Navy's second in command.
"These are good opportunities that allow students to get a 'sanity check' with what is taking place in the Fleet and items important to commanders. This allows students time to reflect on what is going on in the real world and the applicability and relevance to what we are learning in the classroom," U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Dick Steele, a Naval War College student, explained. "With so much reading and writing, it is easy to forget the connection between classroom discussions and the fleet operating forces."
The Naval War College was established in 1884 to provide an advanced course of professional study for naval officers. Since then, its home of Naval Station Newport has expanded to include Surface Warfare Officer's School, the Command Leadership School, and other institutions designed to train and develop officer and senior enlisted leaders of the future.
"One of Navy's greatest strengths is our people and their ability to operate independently guided by our ethos and innovative thinking. The leadership touchstones we've instituted here at Command Leadership School, Senior Enlisted Academy, and others are key to developing the leaders we need to guide the force into the future," Adm. Ferguson explained.
Adm. Ferguson also emphasized that students should continue to focus on ethical standards during their courses of study in Rhode Island.
"Professional competence, ethical conduct and accountability are at the core of our ethos. These are the foundation of the bond between our Sailors and their commanding officers," Adm. Ferguson said. "I expect our leaders to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional behavior. Our Sailors deserve nothing less."
Many Naval War College students felt focusing on leadership at this point in their careers is critical.
"I find it important for senior leaders to focus on leadership efforts with junior and mid-grade officers earlier in their career to influence their behavior," U.S. Army Maj. Jason Honeycutt, a Naval War College student, explained. "Leadership encompasses all aspects of the military and every career field. It is, therefore, an important subject that should be addressed by our senior leaders."
Adm. Ferguson completed his visit by emphasizing to students that they must embody the Navy Ethos and set the standard for how their command will operate in the fleet.
"Our Navy Ethos in leadership and character development includes moral development, accountability, and an enduring commitment to the institution, our Navy," Adm. Ferguson concluded. "I am impressed with the focus of our educational institutions on these issues. From what I've seen, our Navy will continue to be led by great men and women in the future."