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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet welcomed a new fleet master chief at the Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, April 30.
Command Master Chief Marco Ramirez officially relieved Fleet Master Chief John Minyard in a small ceremony attended by Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.
"This job has been one of the most challenging jobs in the fleet, just because of the sheer area of responsibility," said Minyard. "We have 100 million square miles of ocean and commands from the east coast of the United States to the east coast of Africa. Every region and every area is different, but the one thing that hasn't changed is the dedication and commitment of our Sailors. That's what I think I'll miss the most."
Minyard, who reported in June 2009 after being the command master chief at U.S. 3rd Fleet, went on to talk about the constant changes in the Navy and his concerns for Sailors.
"Today's work environment is challenging. What the Sailors are doing each and every day is in the news. They're worried about the budget, about job security, the constant changes in personnel systems and programs," said Minyard. "It's easy for Sailors to become distracted from what their primary job is – being ready to go to sea and fight the next war."
Minyard who is retiring after 29 years of service, noted how much he enjoyed being the Pacific Fleet's fleet master chief.
"I enjoyed the challenge, but as I look back and reflect, I really enjoyed the Sailors," said Minyard. "Experiencing their views and challenges and being able to be a part of this extremely elite team." He added that words will never express the appreciation he has for them and their families for what they do every day.
Prior to this assignment, Master Chief Ramirez served as the U.S. 6th Fleet command master chief in Naples, Italy.
"I'm proud to join this mighty team," said Ramirez. "I look forward to advancing our nation's interests across the Pacific Fleet with a focus on readiness."
The U.S. Pacific Fleet, the world's largest fleet command, encompasses 100 million square miles, more than half the Earth's surface, from the West Coast of the United Sates into the Indian Ocean. The Pacific Fleet consists of approximately 180 ships, nearly 2,000 aircraft and 140,000 Sailors and civilians.