Leaders from the surface community have emphasized sea power innovation and a culture of excellence as the 31st annual Surface Navy Association (SNA) National Symposium in Crystal City, Virginia started Jan. 15 with the theme “Ready, Agile, Focused: Own the Fight!”

During the first keynote address of the three-day symposium, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran discussed leadership and the uniqueness of the U.S. Navy and how it remains the world's most powerful naval force.

"America’s sea power is unique, and as we all know it has a substantial influence in times of war,” said Moran. “Our Navy is bigger and more capable than ever, and we need to be focused on innovating and developing new platforms.”

Moran went on to talk to the future officers in attendance and give them an insight into the future expectations of the surface warfare fleet and how to cultivate a more lethal and effective Navy. “They deserve a Navy that moves faster, buys and delivers faster and ultimately puts a weapon on target faster,” said Moran. “They deserve a Navy that places an aggressive, determined and unrelenting focus on war-fighting in the here and now.”

Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown highlighted the need for a Navy that is focused on excellence, which he describes as a mindset that is necessary to become winners and establish an elite naval force.

"We need to transition from a culture of compliance to a culture of excellence," said Brown. "A culture that simply strives to be the best of the best, always improving and always focused on owning the fight. So what’s the difference on being a culture of compliance and a culture of excellence? Compliance is about inspections; excellence is about superior performance and winning. A culture of excellence demands a sense of urgency in everything that we do, a focused action to deliver the outcomes that our Navy desires.”

The symposium’s roundtable discussions and mentoring sessions for junior officers, midshipmen and enlisted Sailors highlighted the scheduled events for the first day, and provided an opportunity for those attending to ask questions and receive guidance from leaders throughout the surface warfare community. Individuals that were unable to attend today's sessions will have additional opportunities throughout the three-day event to interact and learn as panels, briefings and keynote addresses continue throughout the symposium.

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