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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Adm. Daryl Caudle

Great Lakes, Illinois

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command

05 October 2023
  • Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen – It is a tremendous honor to join you today, coming all the way from Norfolk, VA to personally congratulate, and this is an astounding number, 976 Recruits as they complete the process known as ‘Sailorization’ and start their journey as a Navy Warrior.
  • Over the last ten weeks of Navy Training, your sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sisters or brothers have received world-class instruction in Basic Seamanship, Firefighting, Water Survival, Weapons Training, Physical Fitness and Basic Naval Orientation – immersed in what it means to be a Sailor; these new Recruits standing proudly before me have proven themselves to be disciplined, physically, mentally and emotionally fit, and ready to integrate into the most lethal fighting force the world has ever seen – the United States Navy.
  • Before I get too far ahead of myself, I am the Commander of U-S Fleet Forces Command, responsible for leading, generating, and employing hundreds of ships, submarines, aircraft with the most important resource that brings all of the metal to life – its Sailors. 
  • To the Recruits, take a breath – you did it! You are ready to join this elite team.
  • You are the real one percent, the one percent of Americans who choose to serve, choose to wear the cloth of our nation. You made a decision to join the profession of arms and become part of something bigger than yourselves… the world’s greatest Navy.
  • And you chose to serve during a time when it is most needed – a critical time in our history – perhaps our nation’s most consequential decade since World War II.
  • In a world where the Navy is fighting to attract our country’s best and brightest, as I look out into the crowd – I have renewed faith that we are succeeding – succeeding by attracting the amazing talent that stands before me – ready to fight and win with dedication, courage, and honor. 
  • As the world’s greatest Navy and most responsive Service within the Joint Force, we have the daunting responsibility to remain America’s away team and mobile fighting force, on watch around the world 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • As you reflect on your time here from ‘P Days’ (processing days) to Battlestations to this culminating event, celebrate that you will no longer be a Recruit – you have earned the title of a United States’ Sailor. You should be extremely proud. I know I am.
  • To the families… you played an integral role in your Sailor’s development. You shaped your Sailor into someone who wanted to stand up, volunteer and serve our nation.
  • I feel very strongly about the importance of family within the fabric of our Navy community – and today, I am reinvigorated to say with conviction that it is an indisputable fact that family readiness directly contributes to operational readiness – that a stronger family means a stronger Fleet.
  • I know you are proud of their willingness to serve, but I also understand your concern for their well-being as a Sailor in these dynamic times. I’m a Navy parent too, I get it. I have one son-in-law who serves on a Navy Destroyer, who is in the Mediterranean right now on a surface ship, and a Marine Maintenance officer who serves as well, and is another son-in-law.
  • In response to this concern, I ask you this… who better to stand up against our adversaries than our very best? Who better to defend our way of life than our own? Our sons and daughters. Trust me, they’re ready!
  • You raised these amazing, talented young men and women with a strong foundation of Honor, Courage, and Commitment – the Core Values upon which our strength is based and victory is achieved. Because of the strong base you provided, I can think of no better group of patriots to carry on such a proud legacy.
  • Your support, love and guidance cannot end today. While your Sailor is tough, as they have proven time and time again during these last 10 weeks, they will continue to need you during their journey. 
  • They will soon transfer to a school, a ship, a submarine, or an aircraft squadron where they must hit the ground running with confidence, motivated to learn their job and overcome any obstacle. Our Navy and our Nation demand their very best.
  • Because their journey will be challenging, I know you will continue to support these young men and women as they start the next chapter of their Apprentice pipeline process. Stay in touch, stay connected, demand the most from our Navy to ensure their quality of service is and remains world class.
  • We are honored that these Sailors chose a life of service – we are honored they chose the Navy.
  • President Kennedy once said,
    • “As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
  • Let me say that we support you, we thank you for your service, and we wish you the very best as you begin this fantastic journey.
  • May God bless you, your families, and your loved ones.
  • And may God bless the United States Navy and the United States of America.
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