Roughead takes over as chief of naval operations after Adm. Michael G. Mullen left the post to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
During the ceremony at Washington Navy Yard, Roughead promised to "maintain the Navy's war fighting capability while building for the future and taking care of sailors and their families," according to the American Forces Press Service.
“I’m excited to be the CNO, and I’m honored and humbled and reminded by this setting of the scope and sweep of the task ahead,” Roughead said in a statement.
Roughead takes charge of the Navy at challenging time while the U.S. military is facing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan among the global war against terrorist networks.
“We do not have the gift of clairvoyance; we cannot plan for a future along known paths,” said Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter, in a statement. “We must be prepared for many future paths, many dangers and many potential threats. And that requires, above all, a long-term perspective and a long-term commitment to building a Navy capable of meeting 21st-century challenges.”
Roughead will be at the helm as the Navy modernizes its fleet and continues cooperative engagement policies in an effort to maintain national security.
“We live in a changing security environment, and we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and expect to achieve future success,” Roughead said. “Our ships, our submarines, our aircraft, our networks, our weapons systems must stay ahead of potential adversaries.”