Fleet Master Chief (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, currently the top sailor at Fleet Forces Command, will be the next Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.
Stevens will serve as the 13th MCPON, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert announced Wednesday at a Pentagon news conference.
Stevens will replace current MCPON Rick West at the end of September, after what’s expected to be a month-long turnover. in a statement to Navy Times Steven said he’s honored to serve as no. 13.
“MCPON Rick West has certainly made a lasting and positive impact on our Navy,” Stevens said. “I look forward to continuing to provide the leadership and commitment that our Navy and our sailors both deserve and expect.”
It’s the end of a nearly three-month search that began when West announced his retirement March 22, kicking into gear a selection process to find a successor. in the search, Greenert interviewed 12 candidates — each for an hour — before narrowing his choice to Stevens.
“I think I cast a fairly wide net,” Greenert told Navy Times on Monday, without letting go of the name of his choice.
“I am looking for the best and fully qualified. The MCPON is not your grandfather’s MCPON today, as you can see. This guy has to get out in front of people, carry our message.”
Greenert said MCPON must be “socially adept,” a communicator and has got to understand the needs of the Fleet.
Even the current MCPON didn’t know Greenert’s choice until the last moment. while not personally involved in the search, West was involved in revamping it for the new MCPON, limiting those who can compete for the job to only command master chiefs who’ve served for three- and four-star flag officers.
Stevens has spent most of his career in the aviation community. a native of Montana, he joined the Navy right after high school in may 1983, shipped off to basic training in San Diego and then attended Aviation Structural Mechanic “A” School in Millington, Tenn.
His first fleet assignment was with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 2 in Rota, Spain. His aviation career touched both fixed-wing and helicopters. He’s also served in recruiting and as an instructor.
His ascension to the CMC ranks was a little out of the ordinary. Putting on master chief in October 2002, he was assigned to Fleet Composite Squadron 8 in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, as both the maintenance master chief and the CMC.
A year later, he formally became a CMC and was assigned to the top enlisted spot at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. It wasn’t until the end of that tour that he attended the Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport R.I., normally a prerequisite for getting a CMC job.
Since then, he’s been the top enlisted sailor at Helicopter mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 and the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, both in Norfolk, Va.
His first fleet job came in January 2009, when he became the U.S. Second Fleet command master chief. He was named as the Fleet Forces Command Fleet Master Chief in August 2010 and was the 16th sailor to hold the Atlantic Fleet’s top enlisted job.
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