Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

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Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
MCPON Full.png
MCPON June 2017.jpg
MCPON Steven S. Giordano

since September 2, 2016
Formation April 28, 1967; 50 years ago (1967-04-28)
First holder Delbert Black
Website Official website

The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON, /ˈmɪkpɒn/) is a unique non-commissioned rate and position of office of the United States Navy, which has with it the paygrade of E-9. The holder of this position is the most senior enlisted member of the U.S. Navy, equivalent to the Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy is appointed by the Chief of Naval Operations to serve as a spokesperson to address the issues of enlisted personnel to the highest positions in the Navy, as such, they are the senior enlisted advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations as well as the Chief of Naval Personnel. Their exact duties vary, depending on the CNO, though they generally devote much of their time to traveling throughout the Navy observing training and talking to sailors and their families, their personnel code is N00D as the senior enlisted advisor to Chief of Naval Operations and PERS-00D in their special advisory capacity to Chief of Naval Personnel/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel and Training). In 1988, the MCPON's spouse was made the Ombudsman-at-Large, authorizing them to travel around the fleet with their spouse, representing the interests of the spouses of enlisted members. While the MCPON is a non-commissioned officer, this billet is unofficially protocol equivalent to a vice admiral.[1]


In 1966, the opportunity was given to sailors in the U.S. Navy's two largest concentration areas, Hampton Roads, Virginia, and San Diego County, California, to voice their concerns, complaints, and recommendations to the top levels of the U.S. Navy, the response was overwhelming; naval leaders realized that they were out of touch with the desires of enlisted sailors. To provide a permanent channel for input from the enlisted force to their senior leadership, the Navy acted on a suggestion to create a "Leading Chief Petty Officer of the Navy" who would have a direct dialogue channel with all enlisted sailors and represent their interests. Initially, the post was known as the Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Navy, and on 13 January 1967 GMCM Delbert Black was selected to serve a four-year term in that capacity. On April 28 of the same year, Black's title was changed to Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy to bring the Navy in line with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army, which had created equivalent positions in 1957 and July 1966 respectively. MCPON Black's duties were to the Chief of Naval Personnel. All subsequent MCPONs have reported to both the CNO and CNP.

MCPON rate insignia[edit]

MCPON rate insignia
MCPON.svg MCPON collar.png U.S. Navy E10 shoulderboard.png
Sleeve Collar Shoulder

During the MCPON's tenure, a third silver star above the gold anchor is added onto the MCPON's collar and cap devices, as well as a rating badge consisting of a perched eagle atop three inverted gold chevrons, one rocker, and three inverted gold stars above the eagle, the MCPON's rating specialty mark is replaced by a single inverted gold star. The MCPON will also wear the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Badge on naval uniforms.

Master Chief Petty Officers of the Navy[edit]

No. MCPON Photo Tenure
1 MCPON Delbert Black MCPON Delbert Black.jpg 1967-01-13 – 1971-04-01
2 MCPON(NAC/CAC) John "Jack" Whittet MCPON John Whittet.jpg 1971-04-01 – 1975-09-25
3 MCPON Robert Walker MCPON Robert Walker.jpg 1975-09-25 – 1979-09-28
4 MCPON(NAC) Thomas S. Crow US Navy 790601-N-0000X-001 Retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Tom Crow died of cancer Sunday, Nov. 30th at his home in San Diego.jpg 1979-09-28 – 1982-10-01
5 MCPON(NAC) Billy C. Sanders MCPON Billy Sanders.jpg 1982-10-01 – 1985-10-04
6 MCPON(SW) William H. Plackett MCPON William Plackett.jpg 1985-10-04 – 1988-09-09
7 MCPON(AW/NAC) Duane R. Bushey MCPON Duane Bushey.jpg 1988-09-09 – 1992-08-28
8 MCPON(SW/PJ) John Hagan MCPON John Hagan.jpg 1992-08-28 – 1998-03-27
9 MCPON(SS/SW/AW) James L. Herdt MCPON James Herdt.jpg 1998-03-27 – 2002-04-22
10 MCPON(SS/AW) Terry D. Scott US Navy 020424-N-0000X-001 MCPON Terry D. Scott.jpg 2002-04-22 – 2006-07-10
11 MCPON(SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa Campa Dec 2007.jpg 2006-07-10 – 2008-12-12
12 MCPON(SS/SW) Rick D. West Rick West def.jpg 2008-12-12 – 2012-09-28
13 MCPON(AW/NAC) Michael D. Stevens MCPON Stevens.jpg 2012-09-28 – 2016-09-02
14 MCPON(SG/SW/IW) Steven S. Giordano MCPON June 2017.jpg 2016-09-02 – Present


Steven S. Giordano Michael D. Stevens Rick D. West Joe R. Campa Terry D. Scott James L. Herdt John Hagan (USN) Duane R. Bushey William H. Plackett Billy C. Sanders Thomas S. Crow Robert Walker (USN) John Whittet Delbert Black

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Order of Precedence – OPNAVINST 1710.7J (NOTES: 7)" (PDF). Senior Enlisted Service Representatives (SMA, SGMMC, MCPON, CMSAF, etc.) are typically afforded precedence equal to that of a three-star officer and are placed somewhere midway between the senior and junior general/flag officer present. This is not an exact rule, but one which can used to arrive at the proper placement for most situations. 

Template:Naval Rate system

  • Crist, Charlotte D. Winds of Change: The History of the Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy 1967–1992. Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1992. A joint publication of the Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy and the Naval Historical Center which is available through the Government Printing Office and depository libraries.

External links[edit]