Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) hosted the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert, his wife Mrs. Darleen Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens for a Thanksgiving visit Nov. 28.
During the visit, the CNO and MCPON celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with the crew of Harry S. Truman.
“It was an honor and a privilege to eat with the CNO,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Ryan Smith, Harry S. Truman’s Sailor of the Year. “I never expected to sit down with the Chief of Naval Operations for chow on the mess decks on Thanksgiving Day. He asked about the morale on the ship and said everyone seemed to be in good spirits and motivated. He seemed like a very down-to-earth individual, very interested in junior Sailors and how everything is going in his Navy.”
The meal was prepared for the crew and their guests by Harry S. Truman’s Supply Department.
“It was great,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW) Carla Angus, aft galley captain. “My guys did a wonderful job. I couldn’t have done it without the culinary specialists and food service attendants. It turned out well. Both night and day shift woke up to prepare the meal. It’s a blessing, even though we’re out to sea, everyone came out and wished us happy Thanksgiving, and we were doing the same. It was good to put a smile on their faces.”
Prior to the meal, the CNO and MCPON spoke to the crew during an all-hands call on the flight deck.
“It is wonderful to be here to have a conversation with you, to hear back from you” said Stevens. “I heard you had about 350 or so Sailors advance from this last exam. Congratulations to all those selectees. Just as importantly though, I’d like to tell those Sailors who didn’t advance to keep your head up and keep pressing forward because your time is coming. You’ll get your opportunity.”
Greenert talked to the crew about how important aircraft carriers are to the U.S. and the Navy.
“They are the icon for American sea power,” said Greenert. “They are the symbol, and they are you guys, and you guys deliver.”
Mrs. Greenert closed out the all hands call with Thanksgiving wishes for the crew.
“Today is Thanksgiving and in my family we count our blessings,” she said. “When I look around I see all my blessings and all my husband’s blessing in front of me. So please extend to your families the warmest appreciations you can from me.”
Capt. Bob Roth, Harry S. Truman’s commanding officer, was very appreciative of CNO and MCPON’s visit to the aircraft carrier.
“We were extremely honored to host CNO and MCPON, and very thankful they took the time to travel all the way out here to spend time with our Sailors and Marines,” said Roth. “They are two of the busiest people in the Navy and it meant a lot to the crew that they chose to spend their Thanksgiving with us out at sea in the Middle East.”
Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group echoed Roth’s sentiments.
“We were very fortunate to have the Navy’s top leaders travel out here to spend Thanksgiving with the Sailors and Marines of Harry S. Truman Strike Group,” Sweeney said. “I know our young men and women enjoyed the visit and deeply appreciated having this special opportunity to spend the holiday talking and eating with CNO and MCPON. I’m sure its something they won’t soon forget.”
Press Release, December 02, 2013; Image: US Navy