Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has unveiled a host of initiatives and policy changes aimed at improving quality of life and careers for sailors and Marines. During a speech to Naval Academy midshipmen, Mabus laid out his plans for the future.
1. SECNAV plans to open all operational billets to women.
2. Base day care centers to open earlier and remain open later.
3. Better co-location policies and joint service co-location policies.
4. Legislation has been proposed that will double paid maternity leave from 6-12 weeks.
5. SECNAV is planning to revamp the physical fitness assessment to include current body fat measuring techniques.
6. Beginning June 1, SECNAV is ending GMT as the Navy knows it. Stopping all DoN-directed GMT on NKO.
7. Legislation has been proposed to expand Career Intermission Program from 40 to 400 billets.
8. Meritorious Advancement Program will expand to include shore-based units.
9. Initiatives are aimed at getting the right people in the right jobs at the right time.
10. The Navy is trending toward uniforms that don’t divide Sailors as male and female, but unite them.
I came here to talk to you about shared interests- your future and the future of our Navy and Marine Corps. That future begins with policies we announce today; and that future is bright. Whether you are one year closer to graduation, or one of the soon to be Ensigns and 2nd Lieutenants of the class of 2015, you will all join the most formidable expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known. Our Navy and Marine Corps uniquely provide presence around the globe, around the clock – ensuring stability, deterring adversaries, and providing the nation’s leaders with options in times of crisis.
We are “America’s away team” because Sailors and Marines, equally in times of peace and war, are not just in the right place at the right time, but in the right place all the time. We get on station faster, we stay longer, we bring what we need with us, and we don’t need anybody’s permission to do what needs to be done.
Our ability to provide that presence is built on four fundamentals: People, our Sailors and Marines; Platforms, numbers of ships and aircraft; Power, how we fuel those platforms; and Partnerships, our strong relationships with industry, international friends and allies, and the American people.
On that list, people come first for a reason. People are the Navy and Marine Corps’ greatest edge.