By MC2 Tiarra Fulgham Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on April 14 during a two-week fleet enhancement trip to the Pacific region.
While at Pearl Harbor, Stevens visited the guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) where he was given a guided tour that included the ships combat information center and the central control station as well as a briefing at the chiefs’mess.
“It was a real pleasure to host the MCPON onboard the Chafee. I had a great sit-down with him and discussed manning, port support.
He also gave me a good perspective on what they are talking about in Washington that affects the Sailors,” said Cmdr. Anthony Littman, USS Chafee’s commanding officer.
“It was just an honor because our Sailors work really hard, and it’s good to know that they are getting the attention they deserve from the Navy leadership.”
While aboard the Chafee, Stevens took the time to speak with junior enlisted Sailors.
“The viisit from the MCPON was a really great experience. I know my shipmates and I appreciated it a lot,” said Gas Turbine System (Mechanical) 3rd Class Brandi Brader.
“I think it makes the junior Sailors feel really good when someone from the higher chain asks them about their personal lives, not in depth but enough to try and get to know them a little bit.”
When asked about the importance of his visit to Pearl Harbor and any advice he had for Sailors looking to advance their career objectives, Stevens said Sailors are the main priority.
“Just like any place that I go in theNavy, it’s important for me to get out and about to hear what is on the minds of Sailors and their families,” said Stevens. “When I get back to Washington, D.C. and I offer my advice and recommendations to those things that are going to better help our Navy, I am doing so with what Sailors have told me and what families have told me.”
MCPON reflected on his role of being a link between the Sailors and fleet, policy makers and lawmakers. “My message has been consistent with regards to this, and I call it, ‘The Foundation to Success.’ No matter who you are, what rank you are, what job you hold in the Navy, I say, ‘work hard, stay out of trouble, and be a good and decent person.’ That’s what I call the ‘Foundation of Success.’”
During an all-hands call with Sailors at joint base, Stevens discussed budget changes, Navy-wide morale and received feedback from Sailors through a question and answer session.
The MCPON serves as the senior enlisted leader of the Navy and as the advisor to the chief of naval operations and to the chief of naval personnel in matters dealing with enlisted personnel and their families.