Fleet Master Chief James “Smitty” Tocorzic is a native of Shinnston, West Virginia and a 1989 graduate of Lincoln High School in Shinnston, West Virginia. He entered the Navy through the Delayed Entry Program and arrived for basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes in December 1989.
Following Recruit Training, Naval Aircrew Candidate School and Aviation Structural Mechanic (AMS) “A” School, he reported to VP-30 in Jacksonville, Florida. During this tour he was designated as a naval aircrewman and completed the Flight Engineer Apprentice Program. He then transferred and qualified as a P-3 flight engineer with the “Fighting Tigers” of VP-8, Brunswick, Maine. His follow-on tours as an instructor flight engineer included: VP-5 and VP-30 in Jacksonville, Florida where he served as an FRS instructor and fleet NATOPS evaluator; and VP-47 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. After deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, he transferred to Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois. While assigned to the “Quarterdeck of the Navy”, he served as a recruit division commander, ship’s (barracks) LCPO and recruit division commander “C” school LCPO. He was selected into the Command Master Chief Program in 2009 and served as the final command master chief onboard USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), which decommissioned in March 2012. Additional command master chief tours include: Strike Fighter Squadron 213 (VFA-213), Carrier Air Wing ONE (CVW 1), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and USS George Washington (CVN 73). He served as force master chief for Commander, Naval Air Forces in San Diego, California. His most recent tour was as deputy master chief petty officer of the Navy in July 2020. He assumed duties as the U.S. Pacific Fleet fleet master chief in July 2021.
He is a graduate of the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, Command Leadership School, Keystone and NSLS. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Air/Strike Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards) and various other unit awards. Tocorzic is authorized to wear the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist, Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, Naval Aircrewman and Enlisted Information Warfare Specialist breast insignias; he is also a designated master training specialist.