(Via Ho’okele News)
Story and photo by MC1 Steven Khor
Submarine Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
The senior hands of deckplate leadership changed June 6 with the arrival of the 15th force master chief to Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Force Master Chief Russ Mason relieved Force Master Chief Cash Caldwell in a change of office and retirement ceremony as families and friends gathered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the event.
“I am very excited about this responsibility and look forward to working with the finest men and women the United States has to offer,” said Mason.
In his new assignment as the force master chief for the Pacific Submarine Force, Mason highlighted three key objectives.
“First, we need to get a better handle on the chief petty officer sea billet gaps in Guam and Hawaii,” said Mason. “Our chiefs run the submarine force, and we need to do a better job of filling gapped billets by getting reliefs on board at the periodic rotation dates (PRD) of those chiefs that have completed a full sea tour.
“We are doubling our efforts to notify chiefs and prospective chiefs of the boat at least one year prior to their PRDs to allow them to prepare their families for the moves. We are doing too much just-in-time detailing, and that is not fair to the Sailor, their family, the submarine or the Navy. Sailors work hard while on sea duty, and they deserve a full shore tour when the time comes so we need to fix that,” Mason said.
As a second key objective, Mason identified a need to create quality shore duty opportunities for first-term Sailors. “We are looking at ways to provide more opportunities for petty officers that have completed their first sea tour to be able to go to shore duty in their field of expertise, to better prepare them for their second sea tour which is typically their leading petty officer tour,” he explained.
Third, Mason wants to increase the visibility of Sailors doing great deeds and empower Sailors to be active bystanders to stop their shipmates before they make bad choices that reflect negatively on their shipmates and the submarine force.
He said it is the Sailor’s personal responsibility to determine how successful they will be in the Navy and in life.
“Most Sailors don’t have success without some setbacks, and the successful Sailors are always the ones who don’t let those setbacks define who they are,” said Mason.
“Sailors will never go wrong if they remember Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens’ mantra of working hard, staying out of trouble, and being good and decent people.”
Mason would like every Sailor to ask themselves two questions every day.
“In the morning, ask yourself, ‘How am I going to improve on the legacy already established.’ In the evening, ask yourself, ‘What did I do today to improve myself, my command and the Navy.’ When each Sailor can answer these questions positively and honestly, Sailors’ quality of life will improve exponentially and the submarine force and Navy will get better as a whole,” Mason said.