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“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” - William Jennings Bryan
Are you making the right choices to ensure your destiny is fulfilled?
What Veteran’s Day is All About
By Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy
Across the nation this Veterans Day, we honor the service, sacrifice and commitment of those men and women who have worn the cloth of this great nation. If you believe as I do that there is a desire in every human heart to live in freedom, then this day is a special day.
For 244 years, American heroes have built a Navy that supports and defends the nation we are today -- a country that has been blessed with unprecedented freedom, security and prosperity. While our ships, submarines and aircraft are made of steel, it is the sailors who give our Navy its lifeblood.
Among the heroes we should remember this Veterans Day is Cmdr. Ernest Evans, who chose to sail USS Johnston into harm's way during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Sea in 1944. Despite the superior Japanese force of battleships, heavy cruisers and destroyers, Johnston's actions ultimately crippled the Imperial Japanese Navy. Evans, who died in action, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
We should also remember sailors like Gunner's Mate Third Class Paul Carr, who, during the same naval battle, manned the last operational gun mount aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts. Even after an explosion grievously wounded him, Carr continued in a desperate attempt to load and fire the last remaining rounds in the ship's magazine, and was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.
The ferocity of the American attack at Leyte Gulf ultimately spelled the collapse of the Imperial Japanese Navy and cemented American naval supremacy in the Pacific during World War II. With the valiant efforts of Evans, Carr and countless others at Leyte Gulf, they showed that even the smallest ships in the US Navy could fight well above their weight class.
Today and every day, we honor the millions of sailors who have gone before us to ensure that, if called to fight, the US Navy is so utterly dominant that we do not have to rely on sacrifices like the ones these heroic men made during World War II.
While it is vitally important to remember our past, the Navy's future is also on my mind.
Naval warfare is undergoing a rapid transition, which demands integration between each of our fleets. We are adopting this transition with urgency. Our Navy will deliver a combat credible maritime force ready to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea. Together with the United States Marine Corps, our Navy is the bedrock of integrated American naval power.
From the Western Atlantic to the Arabian Gulf, and from the South China Sea to the Eastern Pacific, the US Navy maintains a strong presence in waters around the world. With 291 ships, about 30% of which are underway today, and more than 3,700 airplanes, the Navy, which serves as America's away team, is more important to national security than ever.
The Navy is America's first line of defense and, in many respects, the protector of trade and travel across the world's super highway. Waterways enable economic prosperity of nations, allowing the free flow of more than 90% of all trade and 99% of digital information. In effect, the backbone of the US economy floats on seawater. We facilitate this prosperity -- at home and abroad -- by ensuring peace, stability and security. That is what your Navy does and what we will continue to do for generations to come.
Mission One for every sailor -- uniformed and civilian, active and reserve -- must be the operational readiness of today's Navy. We must also be committed to training, maintenance and modernization, which will ensure a ready Navy for tomorrow.
Today, the very nature of our operating environment requires shared common values and a collective approach to maritime security. And that makes steady, enduring relationships more important than ever. Our common naval experience with our allies and partners strengthens our ties and maintains the secure and orderly conditions that continue to deliver prosperity to all.
While there is much work to be done, the tenacity and initiative of our sailors will take us where we need to go -- and do so at top speed. This is what the US military requires and our nation expects.
To America's veterans, you have our utmost respect and gratitude for your sacrifice. We who serve in the Navy today pledge to carry on your legacy of service far into the future.
“Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons and daughters, and they will stand by you even unto death.” - Sun Tzu
How do you treat the people who protect us?
“If you wake up deciding what you want to give versus what you’re going to get, you become a more successful person.” - Russell Simmons
Are you a giver or a taker?
“Don’t waste time on what’s not important. Don’t get sucked into the drama. Get on with it: don’t dwell on the past. Be a big person; be generous of spirit; be the person you’d admire.” - Allegra Huston
Are you a person you would admire?
“Your ‘why’ is the light that will guide your way. Your ‘why’ is the light that moves you forward in the darkness. Your ‘why’ is why you are alive.” - Erwin Raphael McManus
Are you searching for your ‘why,’ even in the darkness?
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it.
“When defeat first creeps into the mind it is not all unwelcome. There is a strange pleasure in giving up.” - Sebastian Faulks
Can you override your willingness to quit?
“Being relentless means having the courage to say, ‘I’m going for this, and if I’m wrong, I’ll make a change and be fine.’ You can’t control or anticipate every obstacle that might block your path. You can only control your response, and your ability to navigate the unpredictable” - Tim Grover
How relentless are you at going after your goals?
“If you run from your fears, you will never conquer them. If you run from your pain, you will never be free of it. If you run from the darkness within, you will never see the light.” - Erwin Raphael McManus
Are you able to stand up to your faults?
11 Rules for Life
(From One of the Richest Men in the World)
Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it.
Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a corner office until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called is opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parent fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they will give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people have to actually leave the coffee shop and go to a job.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
“The way you conduct yourself in all areas of your life, your ability to show intelligence and class and self-control, those are the things that separate you from the rest of the pack.” - Tim Grover
What does your conduct say about your character?
“When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I will like it or not. But once a decision is made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were you own.” - Colin Powell
Are you able to be loyal even when things don’t go your way?
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” - Michael Porter
Are you able to say "no" to the things that don’t contribute to your long-term success?
"Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about effectively dealing with the consequences." - Sophocles
How do you honorably deal with the consequences of your decisions?
I have reinvented myself numerous times over my professional career.