From Commander, Military Sealift Command


Our Navy’s Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority is a framework to guide our behaviors and investments now and in the years ahead. The Design’s core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness serve as criteria for our decisions and actions.  An intangible quality that ties these together and propels an organization forward is the idea and implementation of an “ownership” culture.

As Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. John Richardson recently noted, “Ownership is absolutely critical to our business. No matter where you are in the Navy, no matter what your job, no matter what your seniority, we need 100 percent ownership of what we’re doing.  We need to own our behaviors, we need to own our technical competence, we need to own our character.”


Ownership is also about taking that next step and pushing our work effort deeper and wider. Technical competence is critical to our success, however, it’s important to look up and out, and see the connections between all that we are doing.  Ownership involves seeing and caring about that big picture and understanding how our individual contributions relate, and are absolutely critical, to the overall success of the mission.

As we examine and review our individual performance, we should apply this thinking to how we can take ownership of our work to support our four strategic themes:

  • Harnessing and Developing a Diverse, Capable and Talented Workforce;
  • Assuring Global Maritime Logistical Services;
  • Developing Tactical Capabilities that Support Future Warfighting; and
  • Dedicated to Continuous Improvement and Innovation

The CNO captures the essence of ownership when he states, “To truly achieve our theoretical limits of performance, it’s got to come from within each one of us. We have to identify and dedicate ourselves, push ourselves not to achieve the bare minimum, but to go well past that bare minimum and really try and maximize our performance.”

As an organization, we have been pushing hard over the past year and in some cases nearing that theoretical limit. That demanding work has produced tangible results and significant accomplishments in our four strategic themes, enabling us to empower global warfighting capabilities.  I appreciate that our team is applying the same high-level effort to meet this year’s objectives and next year’s aspirations.

In everything we do, let’s keep ownership in the forefront, using it to propel our high-performing teams upward to the next level.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command




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