Navy's 6th MCPON Passes Away
Honoring the legacy of MCPON William "Bill" Plackett
Retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) William "Bill" H. Plackett died peacefully the evening of March 4. He was 78.
Plackett was born in Paxton, Illinois, and joined the Navy at the age of 19 in 1956. He attended radarman "A" school in Norfolk, Virginia and was assigned to the Naval Control of Shipping Office in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. He served tours aboard Commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet embarked upon amphibious force command ship USS Mount McKinley (AGC 7), and Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe in Naples, Italy. Following those tours he reported to radioman "B" school, and was then assigned to Representative, Commander East Force/Naval Control of Shipping Office during the Arab-Israeli War.
Eleven years after joining the Navy, Plackett was advanced to chief petty officer in September 1967. He completed successful tours aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CV 59), as an instructor at the Radioman "B" school in Bainbridge, Maryland, and while enrolled in the Associates Degree Completion Program (ADCOP) in Pensacola, Florida, he was advanced to senior chief petty officer.
After graduating with honors in December 1972, he was awarded an academic scholarship to the University of West Florida, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in vocational education. Following a second tour aboard USS Forrestal, he was advanced to master chief petty officer and assumed duties as Director of the Communications School, Fleet Training Center, Norfolk. In 1979, he was named Command Master Chief for Commander, Training Command, U.S. Atlantic Headquarters, and subsequently became the first Force Master Chief of the Atlantic Fleet Training Command in July 1981. One year later he was selected as Fleet Master Chief of U.S. Atlantic Fleet, under the helm of Adm. Harry Train.
Plackett was selected for MCPON in the fall of 1984.
During his time in office, he was the driving force behind many initiatives including easily accessible training for command master chiefs, ensuring they're well-prepared for their leadership roles; leading women's equal opportunity and integration throughout the force with an emphasis on eliminating sexual harassment; and enforcing the High Year Tenure policy, allowing Sailors upward mobility throughout the ranks.