Last month, I had the honor of giving my first State of the Coast Guard Address in Los Angeles where our tremendous men and women protect our Nation’s maritime interests every day.
Flanked by our service members, this annual Address allowed me to reflect on the successes of our people over the past year and outline our shared vision for the future. This was more than a speech. It was an opportunity to showcase our unique value to the Nation and impact on national security and prosperity.
The strength of our Coast Guard workforce continually reveals itself in difficult times, as the nation observed during the recent 35-day partial lapse in appropriations. Our people stood the watch and fulfilled our promise to the American public. Ultimately, this was a powerful testament of our resilience as a military service, and to the strength of our committed workforce. We continued to save lives, enforce laws, and defend America.
From the Polar Regions to the Indo-Pacific to right here at home, America’s Coast Guard continues to stand the watch. Evolving global complexities and increasing demand for Coast Guard services worldwide necessitate the best people, the best tools, and our best performance. This begins and ends with our people. But, real change requires new ways of thinking.
I am committed to delivering real change to address important issues to our members – like improved childcare accessibility, affordable housing, and talent management initiatives to infuse better flexibility and permeability within our ranks. We must apply this thinking across the full spectrum of personnel support systems and bring the best ideas to bear in an expedient fashion.
Throughout my remarks, I tried to highlight our greatest strength, and the cornerstone of our Readiness, the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard. As I look to the future, I am tremendously optimistic that our Service will remain strong, adaptive, and resilient to the challenges ahead.
I am optimistic because our people have never been more talented and more capable than they are today. Our Coast Guard men and women are united by a shared commitment and eagerness to serve, to demonstrate skill and courage, so that America’s Coast Guard will remain Semper Paratus— Always Ready—to meet the challenges confronting our Nation.
Together, we will make a difference today for the Coast Guard of tomorrow.