The United States Navy

03/26/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/26/2019 15:06

Force Master Chief Huben L. Phillips Visits Military Sealift Command

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command (MSC) hosted the Commander, Naval Air Forces' Force Master Chief, Huben L. Phillips, as part of the Waypoints Guest Speakers Series held at Ely Hall on Naval Station Norfolk, March 22.

Phillips addressed service members and civilian teammates attached to MSC about the current 'Great Power Competition,' and how our people are the key in being prepared to prevail in future military conflicts.

Phillips began his discussion by focusing on the development of Sailors and civilian teammates and their desire to serve in support of something bigger.

'I bring up service because that is what we do,' according to Phillips.

'If I were to poll the room for why each of you serve we would all have different reasons as to why we continue to serve,' he continued. 'No matter what your reason is, your 'why' you serve is the fundamentally your purpose to show up every day.'

In addition to your personal 'why,' we also have a united 'why and that is the current 'Great Power Competition',' said Phillips.

'The 'Great Power Competition' is when large nations vie for the greatest power and influence; not just in their own parts of the world, but also farther out. The United States enjoys a lead there now, but other nations are nipping at its heels,' according to the U.S. Department of Defense web site.

Phillips stated that he believes the key to counter our potential advisories is the people who serve in, and in support of, the military.

'I believe that our asymmetric advantage over our adversaries is you,' Phillips stated. 'It is our people, our will and determination which gives us the advantage. It is that we are not going to quit, we are not going to give up [mentality] because we are going to do what needs to be done.'

Phillips believes that now is the time to prepare our people in order to prevail in potential future conflicts.

'When that high-end fight comes, that is not the time when we start building things. That is not the time when we start forming relationships. That is not the time we start working through intra-personal conflicts with each other,' said Phillips. 'Should the high-end conflict happen, we have to be responsive and we have to be ready.'

Phillips emphasized that an important aspect of preparing for the potential of future conflicts is team-building.

'We need to have an urgency in building teams [in the military] right now,' said Phillips. 'Teamwork does not happen by happenstance. Teamwork is developed through leadership.'

'It is important to remember that the team you are on will always be more important than the team you lead,' he added. 'What I do to build teams, is spend a lot of time influencing and inspiring people. I spend a lot of time trying to give teams that nurturing and need to be successful.'

Phillips addressed developing teammates who may not currently have organizational buy-in.

'I think 99 percent of leadership and building a team boils down to building relationships,' he said. 'If you really want to get the best out of people, it is important to establish relationships.'

'Relationships take work,' he added. 'And in a professional setting, that work has nothing to do with if I like you or not. If we are set on the same mission, we are on the same team, we have the same end-state, and we share the same 'why' if we like each other really is not that important. However as professional relationships grow, we tend to develop commonality and we begin to work better together.'

Phillips had some advice for leaders striving to build relationships within their team.

'When one has the power and control, it is easy to enforce your will,' he said. 'Instead of forcing your will, try to demonstrate and model the way. Our teammates are watching'

'We have an important mission to deliver lethality forward to our enemies, said Phillips. 'It is critical that we develop the needed relationships now before we need them.'

Commander, Naval Air Forces' mission is to man, train, equip and maintain a naval air force that is immediately employable, forward deployed and engaged. They support the fleet and unified commanders by delivering the right force with the right readiness at the right time with a reduced cost, today and into the future, according to the

MSC's Waypoint Series is a monthly event that hosts a range of guest speakers with knowledge and background pertaining to sealift and merchant mariners.

Military Sealift Command is the leading provider of ocean transportation for the U.S. Navy and the rest of the Department of Defense; operating approximately 125 ships daily around the globe.

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