Story by SCPO Hendrick Simoes on 09/18/2019WASHINGTON The Command Master Chief of USS Benfold (DDG 65), Matthey Lashley, was selected as the recipient of the 2018-2019 Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Delbert D. Black Leadership Award.
The Guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold is based out of Yokosuka, Japan where Lashley assumed the duties and employed his leadership style beginning in May 2017.
The award, named for the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, honors Master Chief Gunner's Mate Delbert Black. He served in the position from January 13, 1967 until his retirement on the Chief Petty Officer (CPO) birthday, April 1, 1971. His humility, can-do spirit, and actions on behalf of enlisted Sailors are viewed by the CPO community as a foundation for deckplate leadership.
"This award seeks to honor someone who shares many of the same qualities and characteristics embodied by MCPON Black," said MCPON Russell Smith. "He was a selfless leader who sought out and created opportunities to better the enlisted experience, rather than waiting for them to fall into place. He had the gumption to change our Navy for the better, for generations to follow."
In keeping with tradition and the namesake of the award, Lashley was selected as this year's recipient for his inspirational leadership, vast operational experience and consistent level of ambassadorship while forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
"He is a leader who clearly empowers Sailors and trusts Chiefs to take the right risks in improving command effectiveness," said Fleet Master Chief Jim Honea, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "He has strong character and the unquestionable drive for the excellence needed to push a high performing command even further."
Lashley will formally receive the award in a ceremony later this year in Washington, D.C.