By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Destiny Cheek

The top enlisted Sailor for Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited with Chief Petty Officer selectees aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), Aug. 12.

Force Master Chief Anthony Johnson spoke with the Chief selectees during a question and answer session, briefed them on the CPO 365 program and toured the ship at its dry dock facility at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS and IMF).

“I didn’t come here as a Force Master Chief,” said Johnson, who had served for 38 years in the U.S. Navy. “This visit was for me to get out and find out what’s going on with CPO 365 and talk to leadership and Sailors and see what’s on their minds.”

Many of the selectees shared their thoughts on the new Chief indoctrination program.

“I feel that CPO 365 is a way to get our Sailors ready to be Chiefs throughout the year not just 30 days through [classroom] training, physical training and learning mission readiness,” said Chief (Select) Master-at-Arms Shane Vandehey.

During Johnson’s visit to Stennis, he was able to eat lunch with some of the Chief selectees and share his insight and knowledge of being a member of the Chief’s Mess for 18 years.

“It’s an exciting time to be a Chief selectee,” said Chief Select Aviation Machinist’s Mate Ben Sapida. “Last week we met the Fleet Master Chief and this week we had the opportunity to meet the Force Master Chief. We actually got to speak with him and he called us by our first names. It was mind blowing.”

Johnson, a Dayton, Ohio native, enlisted in the Navy in July 1975 as an undesignated seaman but was soon designated as a Ship’s Serviceman. After a short break in service, he returned to active duty in 1987. Johnson graduated with honors from the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, R.I., in 2000 and served aboard Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), guided-missile cruiser USS Fox (CG 33) and served as the Command Master Chief aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). He was appointed as the Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific, Force Master Chief in August 2012.

Stennis is currently undergoing a Docked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) maintenance period at PSNS and IMF.

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Commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Force Master Chief Anthony Johnson spoke with chief selectees aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) in the Chief’s Mess. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel P. Schumacher/Released)