WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Michael D. Stevens was relieved by Fleet Master Chief Steven S. Giordano during his retirement and change of office ceremony held on Washington Navy Yard Sept. 2. Stevens served as the 13th MCPON for the past four years and served over 33 years on active duty.
"I will forever be humbled by the opportunity I was given to serve in the United States Navy and be trusted to lead and advocate for America's greatest treasure -- those that wear the cloth of our nation and have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic," Stevens said during his speech.
He continued, speaking about his service as the 13th MCPON.
"I've often been asked 'What was your number one goal as the MCPON?' My answer has never changed - 'As a leader, it has always been my primary goal to establish and maintain the conditions that provide all of our people with the opportunity to be successful. And to do this while treating one another with dignity and respect,'" said Stevens.
He concluded, "Tonight I will remove my uniform for the last time and will not wear it again until my eternal rest--but I do this with a smile on my face, knowing that I will always be a Sailor that served in the greatest Navy in the world."
After Stevens spoke, he and Giordano conducted the ceremonial 'Passing of the Cutlass,' symbolizing the change of office, and Giordano assuming the title of the 14th MCPON.
Giordano then delivered remarks saying, "Admiral, I am honored to have been afforded this opportunity and it is one I do not take lightly."
He continued, "Now with one foot anchored smartly on the history and heritage of our service, and one foot stepping forward into the future, I look forward to serving this great Navy of ours as the 14th master chief petty officer of the Navy with all the reverence, respect and action incumbent on the office."
Following the ceremony a small reception was held where friends, loved ones and shipmates bid MCPON Mike and Theresa Stevens farewell and welcomed MCPON Steven and Elka Giordano.
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