Official file photo of Force Master Chief Susan Whitman, who was selected June 17 as U.S. Pacific Fleet's next Fleet Master Chief.

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Force Master Chief Susan A. Whitman was selected today as the 17th Fleet Master Chief for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Whitman, who is currently serving as the senior enlisted advisor at Naval Surface Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Va., will take over as the Pacific Fleet enlisted leader in late summer.

“I chose Master Chief Whitman to be our top enlisted leader from a group of highly qualified candidates,” said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet. “Her operational experience and inspirational leadership, on and off the waterfront, clearly demonstrates that she is the right leader to ensure our military and civilian workforce, and their families, are well cared for.”

Whitman will replace Force Master Chief Russell Mason, who temporarily assumed Pacific Fleet Master Chief duties on April 16.

“Like all great Chiefs, Force Mason stepped up at a critical time when we needed him most,” said Swift. “He seamlessly took on the daunting responsibilities of the Pacific Fleet Master Chief in the same historical manner as his predecessors. As he returns full-time to his job as the senior enlisted advisor for Submarine Force Pacific, on behalf of all Pacific Fleet Sailors and their families, I can’t thank him enough for his leadership and support during the last several weeks.”

In her new assignment, Whitman will be the senior enlisted leader for the world’s largest naval command with more than 160,000 active duty and reserve Sailors who operate approximately 180 ships and submarines and 1,500 aircraft.

“The amazing accomplishments and commitment of our enlisted force is critical to our Fleet’s continued success,” said Swift. “I know Master Chief Whitman will not only be that visible leader who sets the right tone for our enlisted force, she will be my critical daily link to the Sailors that serve day in and day out on the deckplates, flight decks, hangar decks and cockpits that form the backbone of the Fleet.”

Originally from Piety Hill, Ill., Whitman joined the Navy in August 1985 as a Yeoman. Her previous assignments include Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 3 (VQ-3), Navy Recruiting District Boston, USS Holland (AS 32), USS Nimitz, (CVN 68), U.S. Transportation Command, Recruit Training Command Great Lakes and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).

Her previous tours as a Command Master Chief include USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and the Naval Safety Center. A graduate of the Keystone course for senior enlisted leaders, Whitman was the Navy’s 2011 Captain Joy Bright Hancock Leadership Award Winner and 2011 Captain Winifred Quick Collins Award Winner for Inspirational Leadership.

“Master Chief Whitman is a Sailor’s Sailor and I welcome her as my most trusted advisor on all issues critical to the continued success of our enlisted force,” Swift concluded.