YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) pinned warfare qualification devices on the uniforms of two Sailors during his visit to USS John S. McCain (DDG 57) and USS Michigan (SSGN 727) July 2.
"From day one, I've talked about the importance of the warfare qualification programs. Today, I had the honor and privilege to pin seven surface and one submarine warfare device on Sailors from the USS McCain and the USS Michigan," said West.
But it wasn't just a pinning. He took warfare devices off his own uniform and presented them to one Sailor from McCain and another assigned to Michigan.
During the ceremony on board McCain, West removed his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) pin and asked if Boatswain's Mate Seaman Brett Kish would take it.
"I was completely surprised and honored to receive MCPON's pin. It took a lot of hard work to earn my qualification, and I will wear it with pride," said Kish.
On board USS Michigan, West also offered his "dolphins" to newly frocked Electronics Technician 3rd Class William Earl Auer.
"My hope is that these young men will remember the day as much as I will and will pass these on through generations of our great Sailors. I'm honored that they will be wearing something that I've worn for years. Wouldn't it be cool in 30 years if someone is still wearing those warfare devices," said West.
West is in the middle of his first trip to Japan as the Navy's senior enlisted Sailor, spending 10 days at Navy installations to meet and talk with Sailors stationed in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
Prior to arriving in Yokosuka, West held several all hands calls with Sailors at U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo and toured USS Guardian (MCM 5) and USS Defender (MCM 2) before moving on to Okinawa. West was scheduled to stop in Iwakuni and Misawa but due to bad weather the visit was called canceled.
In Okinawa, West also held a series of all hands calls, addressing members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40 and Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 and met with the Fleet Marine Force Sailors at Camp Hansen.
MCPON will be in Yokosuka for an Independence Day celebration before wrapping up his trip at Naval Air Facilities Atsugi.
For more news from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit www.navy.mil/local/mcpon/.