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Message to the Corps #3 from RADM Jon Yuen, Chief of Supply Corps
(Please share throughout the Navy Supply Community for maximum distribution)

Supply Community,

On May 17, 2017, I provided the below statement to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California in the sentencing hearing for CAPT (ret) Robert Gilbeau.  I was asked to provide a statement focusing on the impact that CAPT (ret) Gilbeau's actions have had on the Supply Community.  In other words, I was there representing all of you, and I want you to know what I said on your behalf.

This was not an easy task, but it was a necessary step for us all to be able to continue repairing the damage done by some of our former members.  I want you all to know that actions not consistent with Navy Core Values have consequences.

I previously shared with you thoughts about the two sides of the concept of accountability: (1) holding those accountable for their misdeeds and (2) taking accountability for each other as we reach out to help our shipmates stay on the right path.  As we move forward, I hope to be able to focus more on the second meaning.



Good Morning Your Honor.  I am Rear Admiral Jonathan A. Yuen. I currently serve as Chief of Navy Supply Corps and Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command (or "NAVSUP").

I thank Your Honor for the opportunity to again address this Court. The Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William Moran, provided a written statement expressing the impact of this particular Defendant's actions on the U.S. Navy, as an institution, and the members in its service.  I offer the Court the following elaboration on the impact the Defendant's actions have had on the U.S. Navy Supply Corps.

As Chief of Supply Corps, I am the community leader for approximately three thousand Supply Corps officers and 20,000 Sailors. As NAVSUP Commander, I am the Supply Chain Manager for the Navy, responsible for providing parts, ordnance, fuel, food, and other supplies to sustain our forces throughout the world. The entire NAVSUP enterprise includes more than six thousand nine hundred civilians, one thousand five hundred enlisted Sailors and five hundred and fifty Supply Corps officers, serving at NAVSUP headquarters and in several subordinate commands.  

Our overall mission can be summed up in the phrase, "Delivering the right stuff, to the right place, at the right time and at the right cost."  I am stationed at NAVSUP headquarters and live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Since assuming command in October 2013, there have been many difficult days, but today is particularly difficult for me.  

In the summer of 1979, Captain (ret.) Robert Gilbeau and I started our Navy careers together at the United States Naval Academy.   It was very difficult for me to learn the details of his criminal and dishonorable activities.  I take no pleasure in presenting this statement, but it is important for this Court to hear the damage his actions have inflicted on our Supply community and our Navy.

After graduating from the Academy, we both became Supply Corps officers in 1983, starting at the rank of Ensign and working our way up to Flag Officer, before the Defendant was reduced to the rank of Captain at his retirement.  Over the years, we served with some outstanding Supply Corps officers, enlisted Sailors and civilians, whose professionalism, dedication and sacrifice were inspiring. When he was a Rear Admiral in our community, the Defendant should have been a role model to every hard-working Supply Corps officer; particularly those who aspire to earn, the rank of Admiral.  Instead, by lying to investigators about the true nature of his relationship with Leonard Francis, and destroying evidence of that relationship, he embarrassed the junior officers he was supposed to inspire.  

The scandalous nature of his actions while serving as a Supply Corps officer assigned to ships operating in the Pacific theatre further cast unfair suspicion on every Supply Corps officer who operated in that theatre during those years, causing people to wonder if they too were corrupt.     I offer this fact to the Court because the vast majority of Supply Corps officers who served in Asia got the job done without compromising their duty or their ethics.  Those dedicated professionals are angry and appalled to be associated with this kind of behavior.  I am here to represent them -- and ensure their voices are heard.

I reject any suggestion that it was necessary to compromise standards when operating in Asia during any of the years that fall under the GDMA timeframe.  In the simplest of terms, the fact that any Supply Corps officer would be motivated by a desire to enrich themselves, when their focus should be exclusively on the needs of the ship and the crew, is a fundamental betrayal of what all of us in the Supply community have dedicated our lives to do.

There are over six thousand nine hundred dedicated civilians in the Supply community -who should also be heard on this matter.  I am honored to have among our NAVSUP family, civilian men and women who helped train both the Defendant and me when we were junior officers over 30 years ago. Our civilians are more than employees -- they are proud professionals who are personally invested in the reputation and welfare of the Navy Supply community.  They too feel embarrassed and angered by the actions of the Defendant and others caught up in the GDMA scandal.

Our civilian members who work in the area of providing husbanding contracts were among the hardest impacted by the GDMA scandal.  These contracts secure the goods and services to U.S. warships and other naval vessels visiting foreign ports, what we refer to as "husbanding." When the criminal conduct of GDMA and certain US Navy members, including this Defendant, came to light, it was these men and women who did the heavy lifting, working long hours under stressful conditions, to completely overhaul the procedures for securing husbanding contracts, as referenced by the VCNO in his letter.

The contracting mission carries with it broader strategic implications.  It extends beyond securing needed goods and services. It even extends beyond being good stewards of the taxpayers' money.  When operating overseas, the contracting mission demonstrates to foreign contractors and officials how Americans do business.  Supply Corps officers are taught that our Navy's business practices must project integrity, fair dealing, and adherence to the rule of law if we expect others in the world to follow suit.  Participating in, and supporting corruption in the foreign ports we visit weakens the power of our economic example, and thereby harms our mission, while encouraging dangerous elements seeking to gain a foothold through corruption and fraud to threaten our national security.

The misconduct of those, like the Defendant, convicted of participation in the GDMA corruption scandal has had, and will continue to have, a far-reaching impact upon the Navy Supply community, in the way we perform our mission, the way others perceive us, and especially in how we think and feel about ourselves. The Defendant's misconduct while serving as a Supply Corps officer has seriously damaged the community he served for more than 30 years.  While some may see today as a setback, it is a necessary part of the healing process.  Those who have engaged in criminal conduct must be held accountable for their actions before we can repair the damage they have done.

Finally, Your Honor, I'd be remiss if I didn't add that I am extremely proud of the Supply community's resilient response to this scandal, and dedication to making things right again.  We are restoring our rock-solid reputation that was earned by honoring our promises and ensuring our customers' needs are met, serving the warfighters who serve this great nation.

While the misdeeds of a few of our members - like the Defendant and others who this Court has previously sentenced -- have made things difficult the last few years, I have complete confidence that the dedicated men and women who serve in the US Navy Supply community will succeed in taking our Navy to new heights of reliability, innovation, performance, and respect.


Rear Admiral, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy