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VCNO Visits Fleet, Focuses on Sailor Manning, Readiness, Toughness

17 May 2021

From By Vice Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Bill Lescher spoke with Sailors and leadership at Navy Personnel and Navy Recruiting Commands in Millington, Tenn., and Navy Service Training and Recruit Training Commands in Great Lakes, Ill., 17 May.

Adm. Lescher discussed how the Navy manages and distributes the force with Commander, Navy Personnel Command (NPC) Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey. The pair discussed the impacts and uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic had on Sailors’ orders and training over the past year.

“NPC is getting after real impacts to Sailors and their families,” said Lescher. “Rear Adm. Holsey’s team is laser focused on improving both the orders process and the pay process, and achieving impressive progress.”

“As we make changes, we are in constant contact with the Fleets and Type Commanders to understand the changing training requirements and ensure we are sending Sailors to where they are needed the most,” said Holsey.

Lescher also visited the My Navy Career Center (MNCC) Operations Center to understand what changes are being made to bring Navy HR Operations into the 21st Century to meet the complex and unique needs of Sailors and their families.

Lescher then met with Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (NRC), to discuss COVID-19 impacts to recruiting strategy, transformation, and the Navy Culture of Excellence (COE). Navy recruiting successfully transitioned to a primarily virtual-prospecting effort in 2020 that helped them meet their recruiting goals. NRC is examining that success to sustain its effectiveness going forward.

NRC is also incorporating the Navy COE into new recruit training and implementing Warrior Toughness into all aspects of recruiting. Changes to the onboarding process, including more mentoring before recruits arrive at boot camp, are helping new accessions get ready for boot camp mentally and physically.

Lescher continued the discussion on Warrior Toughness, COVID-19 impacts to the recruit training process, and the Navy COE at Great Lakes with Rear Adm. Jamie Sands, Commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC).

“Warrior Toughness training teaches Sailors how stress begins in the brain, and how the toughness tools provided strengthen the mind to help them respond,” said Sands.

Recruit Training Command faced significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, at both leadership and recruit levels, and impressively learned and adapted to meet the accession mission. More than 50,000 Sailors have graduated from RTC since the start of the COVID pandemic.

This trip marked VCNO’s first trip to Millington and Great Lakes since taking office.

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