CNO MESSAGE TO THE FLEET - 20 YEAR REMEMBRANCE OF THE ATTACK ON USS COLE (DDG 67):
R 051136Z OCT 20 MID200000189231U
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
MSGID/NAVADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/CNO//
SUBJ/CNO MESSAGE TO THE FLEET - 20 YEAR REMEMBRANCE OF THE ATTACK ON USS COLE
RMKS/1. At 1118 local time on 12 October 2000, the guided-missile destroyer
USS COLE (DDG 67) was the target of a suicide attack by terrorists during a
routine refueling stop in Yemen’s Aden Harbor. Seventeen U.S. Navy Sailors
were killed and 37 were injured in the blast, which tore a 40-by-60 foot hole
in the ship’s hull. The crew of COLE fought valiantly for more than 96 hours
to save their ship and shipmates. Their actions are the reason why COLE
remains a vital part of our Navy today.
2. As a Navy, it is important, and I am directing that we observe a moment of
silence at 1118 (local) that day to recognize the twentieth anniversary of
this attack. We will pause to remember those who were tragically lost, pay
tribute to the heroic actions of the crew, and reflect on our responsibility
to carry their proud legacy forward.
3. Twenty years later, it is important to recognize how these acts of bravery
and heroism were nothing short of extraordinary. Immediately following the
blast and uncertain of the possibility of further explosions, COLE Sailors
courageously ran to the scene and rescued severely injured and trapped
shipmates, saving them from further injury and probable death. Well-organized
and disciplined despite the chaotic conditions, they prevailed through 96
hours of sustained damage control efforts by dewatering the ship, plugging
the inrush of further flooding, shoring ships structures, and securing
exposed electrical power sources. The example set by the COLE Sailors is
clear: a well-trained crew, even after a devastating blow, can rise to the
occasion and save their ship.
4. The 17 Sailors who gave their lives that day are, no doubt, heroes. When
their country called, they answered. And, for that, we are eternally
Our responsibility is to honor them by remembering their sacrifices and
ensuring they are never forgotten. The most powerful way to honor these
sacrifices though, is our continued demonstration of resolve in the face
of threats to our nation and its citizens.
5. For Sailors today, you should embrace your responsibility to honor the
legacy of the COLE heroes. Their actions epitomized our Navy’s fighting
spirit - heroism, toughness, selfless sacrifice, and tenacious resolve to
never give up. They carried forward our Navy heritage of fighting with Honor,
Courage, and Commitment. Using their example as a guide, I am confident our
Navy’s proud legacy will live on for generations to come.
6. Our Navy is second to none. The American people count on you and so do I.
Honored to be your CNO.
7. Released by Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.//