Birmingham, Ala. Native retires after 30 years of Naval Service

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Story by Burrell Parmer on 12/17/2018
SAN ANTONIO - (Dec. 14, 2018) Accumulating 30 years of service, Command Master Chief Eric Mays of Birmingham, Ala., assigned to Navy Recruiting District San Antonio, retired from the U.S. Navy during a ceremony held on the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word.

For his superior performance of duty while assigned as the senior enlisted leader of more than 200 Sailors, Mays was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Mays enlisted in the Navy in January 1989 and completed basic training in Great Lakes, Ill., with follow-on training at the Hospital Corpsman "A" school and Field Medical Service School.

Following his training, he was transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. where he deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.

In 1995, he transferred to Pensacola, Fla., for duty as an operating room technician and leading petty officer at Naval Hospital Pensacola. In addition to his duties, he attended Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) School and was advanced to petty officer first class.

In 1998, Mays transferred to Naval Hospital Sigonella, Sicily, where he served as an IDC and was able to assist USS Cole (DDG-67) personnel after she was attacked in Yemen in December 2000.

Following this tour in 2002, he transferred to Naval Hospital Lemoore where he served as the command career counselor and IDC for Naval Air Station Lemoore. During this tour, he was selected as a chief petty officer.

His next tour of duty was with Mobile Security Squadron SEVEN in Guam, where he served as the leading chief petty officer (LCPO) and medical officer (independent duty).

In 2008, he reported to Naval Operational Medical Institute (NOMI) Detachment Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute. During this tour, he served as the acting senior enlisted advisor, senior instructor, and master training specialist coordinator and deployed to Afghanistan with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Mays then transferred to the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) as the department LCPO, where he was selected to master chief petty officer through the Navy's Command Master Chief Program. Subsequently in 2012, he attended and graduated from the Senior Enlisted Academy.

In June 2015, he reported to NRD San Antonio, where he assumed the duty of command master chief.

Mays earned a Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Management from Touro University International of California in 2008 and his Master's Degree in September 2010. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral Degree and planning for his next chapter in his life.

His military awards include: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5), Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (5), Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (2), Sea Service Ribbon (5), Overseas Service Ribbon (5), Kuwait Liberation Medal, and Sharpshooter Ribbons for Rifle and Pistol.

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