USA: Master Chief Petty Officer of Navy Attends Bangor Submarine Ball
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) spoke to area Sailors and their guests at the Seattle Submarine Ball April 14.
MCPON (SS/SW) Rick D. West spoke to a crowd of roughly 1,300 during the ball celebrating the 112th anniversary of the submarine force.
“This is where I began my Navy career in 1981,” said West. “If you would have told me then that I’d be back here only a few short years later, or around 28, to speak to you as your MCPON, I would have probably believed you 100 percent. I may have been a little too cocky back in those days.”
MCPON spoke to the attendees about Navy, family, camaraderie, and the inherent danger of being a member of the submarine force.
“You [submariners] don’t see light of day for months at a time,” said West. “Yet you keep your enthusiasm infectious and you go to sea anyway, cruising below the ocean’s cloak.”
MCPON roamed the floor of the ball engaging Sailors, friends, and family along the way. Photo opportunities abound as MCPON spent more than two hours taking photos with those who asked for his time.
Bangor is the world’s largest submarine homeport in the world; submarine history here is of upmost importance.
“All of you here today come from a line of brave men,” said West. “Sailors who go to sea on ships that sink by design over the vast expanse of hydro-space, submariners who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to save their shipmates from ultimate disaster, sailors who have paved the way for you. Shipmates, it’s your turn, earn this.”
Source: Navaltoday Staff, April 17, 2012; Image: navy