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Bonhomme Richard 


Bonhomme Richard
(April 11, 2014) An AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter assigned to the 4th Aerial Reconnaissance Battalion (Attack), 2nd Aviation Regiment, lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting joint force amphibious operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) and Commander Amphibious Squadron Eleven. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Achterling/Released)



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MCPON Stevens


MCPON's Tackling Uniform fixes, Providing Tablets and more


Last year, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens ended the rite of chief’s induction. This unpopular move was not well received, but the criticism of the new MCPON has died down. With more than two years left, Stevens wants to tackle uniform updates, chief training issues, and tablets for sailors.


Stevens is dealing with uniform issues. Currently, the Uniform Board process takes too long to get uniforms to the fleet, sometimes making uniforms outdated before arrival. There is talk of dismantling the Uniform Board altogether and streamlining the process.  Currently, the redesigned crackerjacks is scheduled to take almost a decade before they reach sailors. The Navy is still issuing the poly-cotton coveralls to sailors in boot camp, uniforms they do not use when they get to the fleet. The poly-cotton coveralls is limited to non-shipboard activities. Stevens reported to the Navy Times “I think that it would be a reasonable assumption to say that at some point, the current seabag-issued coverall becomes phased out and replaced by the fire-retardant coverall.”


Stevens implements the CPO 365 season, the year-round regimen for eligible first classes. With the exception of one incident in which a dozen chiefs-select were PT’d to the point of hospitalization, the CPO 365 has been successful. Stevens says the concept behind the year-round CPO 365 is to offer petty officers continuous learning and leadership opportunities and this training should be “done so with dignity and respect.”


Stevens announced plans of attending the Senior Enlisted Academy mandatory to compete for master chief.  Currently, once you make chief, no further formal leadership education is required.  Stevens wants that changed with requiring a curriculum of nine weeks of distance education followed by two weeks of in-residence training at the academy in Newport, R.I.


Stevens is a big fan of his iPad and believes sailors armed with handheld technology could benefit.  A smart device pilot is set to launch at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill .  The smart device would contain course material and other relevant information for the sailors. The devices would be issues with their seabags and responsible Internet use would be required. 



MCPON Stevens



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2014 NERA/USAA Scholarship