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Ima Black

Ima Black enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 as a storekeeper under the WAVES program during World War II. She was stationed at Naval Air Station Washington and worked as a cashier in the ships service store. Ima was honorably discharged in 1947 and began a career as a civilian with the Navy Exchange, where she continued supporting service members and their families. In 1949, she met Gunner’s Mate Delbert “Del” Black, who would later become the Navy’s first master chief petty officer of the Navy (MCPON). Ima was an active military spouse throughout his career and has continued to play an integral role in the Navy after his passing in 2000. Ima is credited with creating the three-star master chief insignia. Yearly, she travels to educate newly selected chief petty officers during CPO Initiation season about how MCPON helped shape the Navy. In 2007, Ima was named an honorary master chief for her role in the development of countless chief petty officers.

Last Updated: 29 March 2023



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