Newport, Rhode Island - Today, Chief of Personnel, Vice Adm. Robert Burke and Master Chief April Beldo, spoke with Sailors at the Naval Leadership & Ethics Center (NLEC) and the Navy's Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) in Newport, Rhode Island.

During the visit, Burke and Beldo met with approximately 300 Sailors to discuss leadership as well as some of the Navy's recent personnel initiatives, including the enlisted rating modernization plan and Sailor 2025. Both NLEC and SEA help prepare senior Navy leaders and their spouses for roles as commanders, executive officers, command master chiefs, and senior enlisted leaders.

"There has been a lot of discussion about the Navy's rating modernization plan as well as some of our Sailor 2025 initiatives, and it is really important to me that we meet with Sailors to listen to their concerns and help explain how these changes will ultimately benefit both Sailors and the Fleet," Burke told both groups. "I've been following the conversation closely, and while we are all proud members of different tribes within the Navy - our occupations, warfare specialties, ships and squadrons - we must always remember that there is one Sailor's Creed and we are one Navy team supporting and defending our Nation. This modernization will make us more capable as individuals and a Navy."

Beldo explained how the Navy's rating modernization plan will work.

"This effort will be accomplished in six phases over the next few years, and while there are several questions that we're still working through, you will be included in the process as we go forward," she said. "Although the way we address each other has changed, make no mistake, our mission remains the same as do the bonds that unite us. There is no higher calling than to serve our nation, and we, as senior enlisted leaders must lead the deck-plate effort - as we always have, and always will."

Burke and Beldo also said that the Navy is modernizing its entire personnel system, focusing on empowering Sailors, modernizing policies and operating systems, and providing the right training at the right time to Sailors.

"We call that effort Sailor 2025," Burke said. "While the Navy is in very good shape people-wise with recruiting, retention and fit/fill, we are at a strategic cross-road where we are thinking about how we will recruit and retain the force of tomorrow. Sailor 2025 is a roadmap for us to do just that and is a living, breathing, evolving set of initiatives aimed at modernizing our entire approach to personnel programs - everything from how we manage assignments, promotions and pays to how we train our sailors and make our sailors more resilient throughout life."