Upon assuming duties as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. was determined to improve the retention of Navy sailors. To assist in this effort he implemented a series of Z-NavOps, naval messages sent direct to the fleet, affectionately known as "Z-grams." The first Z-gram was released on 14 July 1970, the day he assumed duties as CNO. Throughout his tenure, Zumwalt disseminated 121 Z-grams. All Z-grams were canceled in name only on the day Zumwalt left his post as CNO, though 87 were subsequently incorporated into the regular Navy directives system.
Admiral Zumwalt knew the primary force-multiplier of the United States Navy was its Sailors and, as a social reformer, began quality of life improvements throughout the fleet. Zumwalt wrote each Z-gram personally, and they became the visible indicator that emphasized the importance he placed on Sailors' quality of life.
For more information about Zumwalt's Navy service, visit The Legacy of Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr.