Story by PO2 Jacob G. Sisco on 04/20/2017SILVERDALE, Wash Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steven S. Giordano visited Navy Region Northwest commands and installations to talk with Sailors and senior enlisted leaders April 17,18 and 19.
Giordano made a point to spend time at each command and installation talking with Sailors about matters that are important to them.
"I feel like a lot of questions that were asked were answered," said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rdClass Collin Bosley, assigned to the Vikings of Electronic Attack Squadron 129. "He opened up with some entertainment, he told a few jokes, and I think that got a lot of people's attention. I think how the MCPON put it was probably one of the best sessions I've seen as far as upper leadership goes."
One thing the MCPON isn't fond of, is talking at his Sailors for hours on end. He prefers to have a back-and-fourth conversation.
"Usually there's only a question and answer period of ten or fifteen minutes, with that, some of the questions that get asked and answered may only pertain to a single individual in the stadium, let alone, the entire Navy," said Parachute Rigger 1stClass Kenneth Smith, assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Northwest, 800 Division Repair Loft. "Him coming in and allowing questions in the conversation that he said he was going to have with us was refreshing."
In keeping with the conversational feel, Giordano wouldn't always answer a question right after it was asked. He would turn the question over to the Sailors in attendance and give them the opportunity to respond to the question. Giordano wanted the Sailors' point of view. He didn't want to tell them how to think.
"I like that he wanted to hear from our Sailors," said Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) Command Master Chief, Shane L. Cardone. "I want our Sailors to say what they have to say. Whether it's through their chain of command or another."
Giordano also made it clear that part of his job was to encourage Sailors to give voice to matters that are important to them.
"I realize that the Navy that I grew up in, is probably not the same Navy that you are growing up in," said Giordano. "I don't go into a new position with intent. I am your Sailor advocate. I am the Sailor advocate for your family. You will tell me what the conversations need to be. You will tell me what the Navy needs to be focused on. And we will drive down the path to figure out what's right."
The Sailors asked the MCPON about Sailor 2025, Rating modernization and Maritime security among other topics. Giordano visited Navy Region Northwest as part of a campaign to receive feedback from Sailors and hear their concerns on behalf of Navy leadership.
"I hope what he took away from the Pacific Northwest as a whole is the strategic importance of each of the bases," said Naval Station Everett Command Master Chief Brian Wojcicki. "Whether it's NASWI, us, or down at NBK [Naval Base Kitsap] and Bremerton. When you look at it on a map you kind of see that everything is close together but we're actually geographically separated. It's good for him to see that geographic separation and the fact that everyone is kind of operating independently and what they're bringing to the fight, which I'm sure is one of the main reasons he came out here in the first place. He gets the chance to talk to the Sailors and see how everything is laid out structurally."
Aside from taking questions, Giordano recognized several Sailors for their performance at the different commands. Air Traffic Controller 3rdClass Vanessa R. Amavizza, assigned to NASWI, was recognized by the MCPON and given a coin for receiving the base Shipmate of the Year award.
"I was a little nervous, but it was a really good feeling to be recognized by the senior enlisted, there was a feeling of pride for sure," said Amavizza. "I think the MCPON coming out here provides that feeling of pride, and a feeling of appreciation. It's nice seeing him reach out to us junior Sailors."
MCPON serves as the senior enlisted leader of the Navy and as an advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Naval Personnel in matters dealing with enlisted personnel and their families.
For more news from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit http://www.navy.mil/mcpon/index.asp.