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Here’s the first message from new Acting Secretary of the Navy James E. McPherson

James E. McPherson getting sworn in as the 34th Under Secretary of the Army, in Arlington, Va., Mar. 26, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Harvey)

To all of our Sailors, Marines, Civilians, and Military Families,

I am honored to return to the Navy-Marine Corps Team as your Acting Secretary.

From my years as an officer in the United States Navy, and my prior service as an enlisted Soldier in the United States Army, I am keenly aware of the sacrifices you make, and the dedication you show, every day in service to our Nation. Thank you for your dedicated service. I look forward to serving alongside you.

Today, with the extraordinary challenges posed by COVID-19, and the continual threats we face in a changing global security environment, our Nation needs you more than ever. Throughout this crisis, Sailors, Marines, and Civilians have stepped forward to protect the American people and our force. From New York to New Orleans, Los Angeles to Dallas, Maine to Guam, you have responded to the medical, logistics, engineering, and security requirements of our homeland during this time of need. And through it all, you have maintained the watch around the world.

Alongside Admiral Gilday and General Berger, we will maximize the resources and capability of the Department of the Navy to faithfully execute the priorities established by Secretary Esper in response to the COVID-19 crisis: Protect our people, maintain warfighting readiness, and fully support the whole of government/whole of nation response to protect the American people.

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You are the reason I am extremely confident that we will make mission. Many of you – our active and reserve shipmates – are closing the margin and saving lives through countless and selfless acts of individual initiative and collective teamwork. I am proud of you – our Nation is proud of you. For as long as I have the privilege of serving as your Acting Secretary, I will do everything in my power to support your efforts and safety, and the safety and well-being of your families.

Working together and remaining ever vigilant of the rocks and shoals before us, I know we will help bring our Nation through the present challenge and all that may follow. It is what the Navy and Marine Corps have always done, and will always do, as long as there are people like you maintaining the watch.

Sincerely,

James E. McPherson

Secretary of the Navy (Acting)

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This article was originally published by The U.S. Navy.