Message from the Navy Surgeon General: Assuming the Watch

VADM Faison - photo.smallShipmates:

It is my privilege and honor to have assumed the watch as your 38th Surgeon General. I am humbled to lead such an amazing organization of more than 63,000 active duty, reserve, civilian and contract personnel.

I am incredibly proud of the tremendous impact Navy Medicine has made and continues to make throughout our history. I look forward to serving with you as we lead Navy Medicine into the future and supporting our Navy and Marine Corps team, their families, and those who depend on us.

Our Navy and Marine Corps are uniquely positioned around the globe defending America. Navy Medicine is entrusted to provide the best care our nation can offer to those who have sacrificed to defend our freedom. The readiness, health, and well-being of those Sailors, Marines and their families are in our hands. In my mind, that is a sacred trust. Whether you are a Corpsman serving with the Marines, a nurse on the night shift, a physician or IDC at sea, a Dental Corps officer in the clinic, a health care administrator, one of our researchers in the field, an instructor in classroom, one of our shipmates working in IT, Supply, optical fabrication, or any of the hundreds of activities that make up Navy Medicine…or whether you are active or reserve, civilian, contractor, or volunteer – your reach spans the globe and you are an important part of fulfilling that trust.

These are transformational times for Navy Medicine. As we look ahead, preserving the readiness of our Navy and Marine Corps and their families, as well as the readiness of our Navy Medicine team will be our top priorities. Today’s Sailors and Marines are the most highly trained, specialized, and educated in our nation’s history. Because of this, every one of them is critical to the mission and the need to keep them and their families healthy has never been greater. Likewise, we attained the highest combat survival in recorded history in the last conflict. Our record of saving lives is unmatched, whether on the battlefield or during disasters. Preserving those skills and competencies so that we improve on that for the next deployment will be critical. Strong training programs, robust clinical experiences, world class research, and other efforts will be essential to support this.

We must do all this within the reality that OPTEMPO will remain high in an uncertain world. Further, resource constraints, rapid advances in medical practice, even fundamental changes in how healthcare is delivered or the things that influence the healthcare decisions of our patients create both challenges and opportunities.   As we have done in the past, we will turn challenge into advantage for the benefit of those we serve and for our Navy and Marine Corps. We will stand the watch together to ensure that they, their families, and their families back home can rest easy at night knowing Navy Medicine has the watch over their loved ones.

Regardless of our challenges and opportunities, I believe we make three commitments when we join the Navy Medicine team and which we will continue to honor on my watch:

– To always be worthy of the trust that has been placed in our hands in the privilege of caring for America’s sons and daughters, to care for them as we would care for our loved ones, providing them the best care possible and doing all in our power to return them home to their families safely.   We joined Navy Medicine, not for profit or fame or personal glory, but to care for those who need our help and to be part of a cause greater than ourselves. We will always honor that trust.

– For those of us in uniform, to always be worthy of the uniform we wear.   Our uniform represents a 240+ year unblemished tradition of honor, courage, and commitment that is the backbone on which our freedom depends. For Navy Medicine, that uniform also represents hope, caring, compassion, strength, and dedication to those who look to us for help and support. We carry on those traditions today by wearing that uniform as a member of the Navy Medicine team.

– For those in leadership positions, to always be worthy of the privilege and responsibility of leadership.   As leaders, a trust is equally placed in our hands to care for those we have the privilege to lead, they are our future.   It is a trust which must be earned every day to ensure we are doing all we can to care for them, challenge and inspire them, prepare them for tomorrow and, eventually, return them home safely as well.   Leadership is never about us, but always about those we are privileged to lead and who look to us for guidance, mentoring, and support.   Likewise, ours is a trust to lead Navy Medicine successfully into the future and continue that long tradition of selfless sacrifice and service that is the hallmark of all we do. Commitment to lifelong learning, innovation, new ideas, and above all, service before self are the hallmarks of great leadership and essential for our future.

I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this team. It’s your commitment, caring, compassion, and selfless service to others that inspires me every day. Our Navy Medicine motto is to provide world-class care, anytime, anywhere. We’ve kept that commitment for over two hundred years and you can rest assured we will continue to keep it well into the future. Thank you shipmates for being on our team and for the difference you make, every day and in so many ways, for those who need us. I am honored to serve with you.

VADM Forrest Faison

C. Forrest Faison III, M.D.
Surgeon General, U.S. Navy
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery