Editorial: Deeds, Not Words

At a time when at least two frontline warships are deemed unfit for combat, a growing credibility gap exists in Congress over whether the Navy can accurately manage its soaring shipbuilding costs and fleet leaders are fuming over a lack of military bearing on the waterfront, some Navy leaders are busy preparing a new “ethos” statement.

News flash: They’re focused on the wrong problem.

The Navy doesn’t need another written attempt to piece together what it stands for. It already has Core Values, a Sailor’s Creed, a Maritime Strategy and more.

What it needs is to start living up to the standards and traditions naval leaders have developed over generations.

The core values of honor, courage and commitment are a good start. Honor to the truth and to justice; courage to do what’s right and defend the nation even in the face of mortal danger; and commitment to getting the job done, and doing it well.

An ethos is innate. And this is what the Navy’s ethos is supposed to be.

So, the Navy doesn’t need a new ethos statement. It just needs to start living up to the high standards it already has set for itself.

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