Our mission: ‘Something larger than ourselves’

Commentary
Rear Adm. Brian Fort
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

[Rear Adm. Brian Fort previously served here aboard USS Ingersoll (DD 990) and USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and as XO aboard USS Port Royal (CG 73).]

Aloha!

It is a remarkable privilege to return for duty in Hawaii — where we are all part of an important mission, part of something larger than ourselves.

As regional commander I look forward to working with the Sailors, Airmen, civilians and families at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Pacific Missile Range Facility. As MIDPAC commander it will be an honor to lead the waterfront leaders in Pearl Harbor, which, by the way, is unquestionably the best home-port in the Navy.

The Region/MIDPAC team has an amazing reputation of integrity, service and commitment, and I couldn’t be happier to be part of this amazing team.

Congratulations and fair winds and following seas to my predecessor, Rear Adm. John Fuller, who literally and figuratively left some big shoes to fill! He and Mary were most generous to Kelli and me in the short time we had together back in mid-June. The Fullers had a great tour here in Hawaii, and we hope to continue the upward trend with all of you.

As most of you know, our change of command ceremony had to be canceled just a few days before the event when I received tasking to serve as the investigating officer for the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) collision. While I am not able to speak about the details of the investigation, I would ask you to continue to keep the Fitzgerald Ohana in your thoughts and prayers for the seven shipmates we lost in the early morning hours of June 17.

Our Navy is committed to a very thorough review, and whenthat process is complete and the time is right, I look forward to sharing lessons-learned and leadership insights I gained from my service in the investigation.

For now, I am 100-percent focused on my leadership responsibilities as Region/MIDPAC commander.

A special thank you goes out to Capt. James Jenks, Capt. Eric Weilenman and Ms. Theresa Phillips and other senior leaders at both the Region and MIDPAC who took over for me in the gap between commanders.

I look forward to meeting you, hearing from you and learning more about the great work you and your teams do every day. Kelli and I have already met many of you in the short time we’ve been aboard, and it’s awesome to feel the warm and welcoming aloha both on base and in the community. We are most grateful.

I will make one promise as your new commander; I will lead with the same historic passion of the commanders who came before me. My leadership charges to my staff and waterfront commanders are simple: • Be men and women of integrity,

• Be bold in your decision- making,

• Communicate with those you serve every day,

• Take care of those you serve and their families,

• Critically assess your performance every day, and

• Rise to the challenge in a crisis.

I look forward to sharing more thoughts in the Ho‘okele in the months ahead. I’m very aware of the finite time we each have to make a difference here. Together we can do great things. Our mission is a sacred trust: the defense of our nation. Together, we can all be part of something larger than ourselves.

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Category: News