ARLINGTON, Va (NNS) -- Navy leadership spoke to reporters at the 2019 Military Reporters and Editors Conference, Oct. 25.
Undersecretary Thomas B. Modly and Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Robert Burke emphasized the need to engage with the public and communicate department strategy and goals as the Navy operates in this era of great power competition.
“Everyone in this room is instrumental in telling the stories of our military, our Navy, and of our Sailors and Marines – whether those stories are about strategic challenges, budget moves, current events, or of the human aspect of the service.” said Burke. “Seeing how our Navy is reflected in your reporting helps us to focus on how we connect with America and our allies and partners.”
The open, on-the-record engagement reinforced the Navy’s resolve to connect with the press, Congress, industry leaders, and the American people.
“I want to express the Department of the Navy’s respect and gratitude for the military press,” said Modly. “And I want to affirm our commitment to transparency and accessibility as you go out and do your jobs.”
Both leaders discussed focus areas of the Department of the Navy, their assessment of current events and the desire to highlight the Navy to increase awareness and understanding of the Navy’s role in supporting the National Defense Strategy.
“We’ve talked about the maritime environment being a central focus of our National Defense Strategy, and many of you understand the “why” behind this sense of urgency,” said Burke. “But I have to tell you, I don’t think the American public understands that yet.”
During the conference that focused on military-media relations, a panel of military public affairs representatives discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by military leaders when seeking a balance between transparency and operational security requirements. The panelists, including the Navy’s senior-ranking public affairs officer, urged the necessity of open communication.
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