By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Bill Houlihan, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Public Affairs
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa Jr. testified, Feb. 7, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, which oversees all military construction projects, quality of life and veterans affairs related matters.
Campa appeared with senior enlisted leaders from the Marine Corps, Army and Air Force in the two-hour hearing, and told the committee that conversations with Navy families he's had the last twelve months centered around what he referred to as three pillars of support: health care, child care and housing. He added that world events have led to a greater need for more consistent focus on supporting the Navy family.
"Navy families are strong, resilient and proud of their contributions during this critical time in our nation's history. Surge deployments, individual augmentation and duty in places our Navy has never been have resulted in a need for even more family support. The programs we have in place must continue to evolve as the needs of our families change," said Campa.
Campa, making his second appearance before the subcommittee since he took office in July, 2006 also addressed care for wounded Sailors, identification and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Navy humanitarian relief efforts and the Homeport Ashore program.
He described visits to the fleet and conversations with Sailors that have left him with distinct impressions about the reasons a U.S. Sailor wears the uniform. He told the committee that Sailors are succeeding under challenging circumstances and said that success is due to the belief they have in themselves and in their missions.
"Out total force of active-duty and reserve Sailors continue to rise to the challenge of world events, as they always have," he said. "They do this because they are keenly aware of the trust, confidence and responsibility the American people have in them and because they believe in the rich tradition of our naval service."
The MCPON testifies annually before congress along with the senior enlisted leaders of the other services. The House Armed Services Committee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs is primarily focused on quality of life issues affecting service members.