STUTTGART, Germany — Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Vice Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III, visited sailors stationed at the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command May 14 to discuss Navy personnel issues with sailors.
"It's important for me to be here, because an important part of what I do is get out and see the fleet," Ferguson said during an All Hands call. "It's a great time to be in the Navy. We're globally deployed and we have assumed a series of new mission sets in the last few years."
Ferguson is responsible for the planning and programming of all manpower, personnel, training and education resources, budgeting for Navy personnel, developing systems to manage total force manpower, personnel training and education resources and the assignment of all Navy personnel.
During his visit he explained the Navy's recent decision to hold some permanent change of station moves, the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Individual Augmentee deployments and the new Navy Working Uniform.
He also thanked the Reserves for contributing to the mission and pointed out the Navy's retention has increased.
"Retention is up dramatically and attrition is significantly reduced. People are not choosing to get into trouble, and they are choosing to stay in the Navy," Ferguson added. "This is the finest Navy, in terms of people-quality, that I've ever seen." One sailor thought Ferguson's visit was well-timed and shared his thoughts.
"I think this visit is great," said Navy Yeoman 2nd Class Jeff Conran, "It shows that Big Navy hasn't forgotten about us and they still realize that we're over here.
"Since we're on an Army base, we are sometimes left out when it comes to knowing what's happening in the Navy," Conran continued. "So I appreciate that Admiral Ferguson has taken the time out of his busy schedule to inform us about what's happening in the fleet."
The visit to Germany is the first by Ferguson since he became the Navy's 55th Chief of Naval Personnel April 16, 2008.