U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Susan Whitman, left, speaks with Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Avelino Lopez aboard USS Michael Murphy. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Laurie Dexter)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Susan Whitman paid a visit to the Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Hopper (DDG 70) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) Aug. 19 and 20 respectively.

Whitman, who assumed the duties of the 17th Fleet Master Chief for the U.S. Pacific Fleet Aug 13., greeted Sailors individually as she encountered them throughout the ships and gave them an opportunity to voice any concerns they have of the Navy.


“Any time I visit a command, I want to show that I care about the Sailors and their health and welfare,” said Whitman. “Today, the Sailors were happy; they’re motivated.”



Throughout her visits, she asked Sailors the question, “If there was one thing you could change — if you were in charge — what it would be?”



“Some did not like the PFA standards; some wanted different working hours,” said Whitman. “At the end of the day, at least the Sailors are able to tell leadership what’s on their minds and we can take it back and fight the good fight for them.”


Master Chief Adrian McCown, command master chief of Michael Murphy, said it was a great opportunity to welcome a fleet master chief on the ship to speak with the Sailors.


“The younger folks seeing the enlisted senior leadership— especially the force and fleet level who come down, take an interested in them and ask them questions to take back suggestions —is something that keeps them motivated,” said McCown. “It also helps keep us old folks, who have been institutionalized, thinking of different ways to improve ourselves and the ship.”


Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Chance Boyer assigned to Hopper, said he was appreciative of the visit.



“It makes me feel good,” said Boyer. “It let’s us know she can talk one-on-one with us at the deck plates. It shows she wants to get to know her Sailors.”