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21 Association of the United States Navy Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steven S. Giordano became the Navy's senior enlisted leader on Sept. 2, 2016. The Balti- more native enlisted in June 1989 and completed cryptologic techni- cian technical training in Pensacola, Fla., after basic training in Orlando. He later received a bachelor of science degree in management and is a graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy and the National Defense University Keystone course. A specialist in submarine, surface and information warfare, Giorda- no's command master chief tours include time aboard the guid- ed-missile frigate USS McClusky and at Navy Information Operations Command Colorado. He also served as the force master chief for Navy Information Dominance Forces and fleet master chief for U.S. Navy Forces Europe/U.S. Naval Forces Africa. Giordano spent the last year and a half since becoming the 14th MCPON speaking with tens of thousands of Sailors around the world and across every warfare community. During a recent inter- view at the Pentagon, he expressed his enthusiasm for the Navy's new branding initiative and discussed some of the priorities, challenges and goals of the enlisted commu- nity. Excerpts follow. The Navy currently is working to rebrand itself. What does the new slogan "Forged by the Sea" mean to you, what do you want it to mean to your Sailors. How will this effort help with recruiting and retention? I've seen this video: It starts with a young civilian who makes this transition through this journey as a Sailor and all the opportunities that are presented to that Sailor. And what I do is I see that and I reflect on my own journey. When I think of "Forged by the Sea," I think, "How does that affect me?" Because we've got to be committed to this thing. If I listen and I watch that [video] and hear the words "Forged by the Sea," and it doesn't resonate with me, it's probably going to not resonate very well with people that don't know the naval service. I sat back and one of the things I did when I listened to it the first time is I closed my eyes and I didn't watch the video. I just listened to the words, and it took me back. I started as a young man in the Navy. In life, I was looking for something different. I didn't know what it was, I was just looking for something different. For whatever reason, there was this pull on me to naval service. Almost 29 years ago, I started my journey, and here I am today. I can tell you that I would not be the person that I am, the father that I am, the husband that I am, definitely not the Sailor that I am, was it not for the Navy. And what created all that? e sea. e sea is the Navy. It presents so many opportunities to us that we can't even put them all in this platform to show our nation, to speak to the moms and the dads and maybe the young adults who have a propensity to serve. We can't truly give all that to them, the scope of it is just too grand. But if we can tell a story from a different way that says, "When you're all said and done with this thing, you're not the going to be the person that you were when you started, you're going to be better. You're going to be on a path that's going to allow you to be the person you want to be in life, both as a human being and as a professional in a job or a skill, and we'll give you all those oppor- tunities." I look at that branding platform and it strikes me. I see it. And if I can see that and feel that, then I think that our teams out there that are talking to our nation, using this platform, going out there and talking maybe to those people who have that propensity to serve, they'll be able to do it. It think it's a phenomenal platform. I love it. ere's no doubt in my mind that not only was I forged by the sea, so were many other Sailors before me, and we'll continue to forge our Sailors by the sea. If you think about it, our nation was forged by the sea. Many, many years ago, a couple people got on a few ships and traveled across the sea. … ey had the courage and the skills and the competency onboard those ships to go brave that. And look at our nation today. In a way, we've all been forged by the sea. "I can tell you that I would not be the person that I am, the father that I am, the husband that I am, definitely not the Sailor that I am, was it not for the Navy."

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