The Navy of the future needs to learn quickly, adopt emerging technology faster and constantly self-assess to make sure it's on the right course, according to guidance published Tuesday by the Navy's new top officer.
"We must do everything we can to seize the potential afforded by this environment," he writes. "Our competitors are moving quickly, and our adversaries are bent on leaving us swirling in their wake."
2. Know your opponent. Richardson identifies Russia and China as competitors, saying the U.S. has reentered an era of "great power competition" not seen since the end of the Cold War.
"Russia and China both have advanced their military capabilities to act as global powers," Richardson wrote. "Their goals are backed by a growing arsenal of high-end warfighting capabilities, many of which are focused specifically on our vulnerabilities and are increasingly designed from the ground up to leverage the maritime, technological and information systems."
Richardson said North Korea and Iran are also accessing more advanced technology, creating challenges for the fleet.
- Integrity: "As individuals, as teams, and as a Navy, our conduct must always be upright and honorable both in public and when nobody's looking."
- Accountability: "We clearly define the problem we're trying to solve and the proposed outcomes. In execution, we honestly assess our progress and adjust as required."
- Initiative: "We foster a questioning attitude and look at new ideas with an open mind. Our most junior teammate may have the best idea."
- Toughness: "We can take a hit and keep going, tapping all sources of strength and resilience: rigorous training for operations and combat, the fighting spirit of our people, and the steadfast support of our families."
"One thing I really liked was he makes no bones about the fact that we are in a great power competition," he said.
"The degree to which he is emphasizing learning rapidly, this is very difficult for a large organization, but it's typical of John Richardson — the drive for agility and the requirement for constant reassessment," Hendrix said. "The farther you get away from him in the command structure, the more difficult it becomes. It's going to be a big lift of leadership on his part."
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News. Before that, he reported for Navy Times.