Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joe Campa Jr. retires, West becomes MCPON

(photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos)
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead delivers remarks at the Passing of the Cutlass and retirement ceremony in honor of retiring Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Joe R. Campa Jr., left, and incoming MCPON Rick D. West during a ceremony at the Sail Loft at the Washington Navy Yard. West is the 12th MCPON.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, bid farewell to Master Chief Petty Officer of Navy Joe R. Campa Jr. and welcomed MCPON (SS⁄SW) Rick D. West as the Navy’s 12th MCPON in a change-of-office ceremony Dec. 12.

Campa retired after 28 years of service and more than two years as the senior enlisted member of the Navy. Roughead said Campa has displayed extraordinary leadership, keen insight and sound judgment during his career.

‘‘Master Chief Petty Officer Campa’s accomplishments as a leader, however, are matched by his stature as a warfighter. As a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman, he served alongside Sailors and Marines in peace and war,” Roughead said.

CNO said Campa should be proud of his many contributions and accomplishments while he served as the 11th MCPON, from deckplate leadership to empowering the Navy’s senior enlisted community.

‘‘With a singular drive he infused in our chief petty officers’ mess a renewed spirit of heritage, service, and high standards. He formed the MCPON's Leadership Mess to coalesce fleetwide chiefs around those renewed standards and expectations. He created and enforced The Chief Petty Officer Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles,” Roughead said.

Master Chief (SW⁄AW) Jacqueline L. K. DiRosa, Atlantic Fleet Master Chief, said Campa instituted his mission vision guiding principles and redirected the focus of the chiefs’ mess to those principles.

‘‘Campa really focused the Chiefs Mess on true deck-plate leadership and being the true Sailors advocate,” she said. ‘‘He truly was a Sailor’s MCPON.”

‘‘[Campa] pushed a lot down to the chiefs’ mess and took a lot of their input when helping making his changes,” DiRosa said. ‘‘His greatest accomplishment really was focusing the Chiefs Mess on being the Chiefs’ Mess and establishment of the mission vision guiding principles [this] will be his legacy.”

CNO said Campa was also his trusted advisor and helped him transition into his position as the Chief of Naval Operations. He talked of traveling with Campa to the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘‘As we visited and met with our Sailors and I would watch him interact with our Sailors, it was so clear to me that what was shining through was the respect, the admiration, the obligation and indeed the love he had for every man and woman who wears the uniform that we hold so dear,” Roughead said.

CNO welcomed MCPON West and said he looks forward to working with him.

‘‘Master Chief West brings to the office extreme competence and the quiet confidence that has earned him respect across the fleet and throughout the ranks.”

‘‘He will be my eyes and ears wherever the Navy may be, and I look forward to working very close with him and to take advantage of his sage and wise advice because I know he will tell me not what I want to hear, but what I need to hear.”

West most recently served as Fleet Master Chief for Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk. He had previously served as Pacific Fleet Master Chief.