FORCM James Herdel
Force Master Chief, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
FORCM (EWS/EXW/FPJ) James Herdel grew up in Morganfield, KY. He enlisted in the Navy in June of 1989 and subsequently completed Electricians Mate "A" school. He attended Navy Scuba Diver training in Panama City, FL and then Explosive Ordnance Disposal Apprentice School in Eglin, FL in June 1990. He served at Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit TWO from December 1990 to August 1993. He then attended Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician School in Indian Head, MD. Upon graduation from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician School, Master Chief Herdel was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit FIVE from September 1994 to December 1997. While attached he served on several detachments which included the first Command Special Operations Detachment.
He was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit TWO (EODMU) Detachment Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico from January 1998 to December 1999 conducting operations throughout the Caribbean and South America.
He transferred to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit TWO onboard NAB Little Creek in February 2000. He made multiple deployments during this tour while assigned to Detachment 12 on Seal Team EIGHT, ALPHA and CHARLIE platoons.
Master Chief Herdel transferred in September 2003 to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit TWO, Ft Story, VA, where he was assigned as the Air Operations Department Head from June 2004 to May 2006. He was then assigned to the US Army Military Freefall School in Yuma, AZ. He was the first EOD Technician to be permanently stationed at the school and awarded Freefall Instructor number 578.
In December of 2007 he returned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit TWO to deploy as the LCPO of multiple platoons in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during this tour.
Upon his promotion to Master Chief, he was assigned as Operations Department LCPO at Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit SIX and deployed as the Operations Master Chief for CTG 56.1. He was selected as a Command Master Chief (CMDMC) and was assigned to EOD Mobile Unit TWO as the CMDCM.
During his tenure as CMDCM at EODMU TWO he deployed in support of CTG 56.1 and was a part of the leadership team when the command was awarded the first Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Battle "E" commendation.
In July of 2015 he was selected as the first Command Master Chief of Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center (EXWDC).
Master Chief Herdel was selected to be the NECC Force Master Chief in October of 2016 where he currently serves.
He is a qualified Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and Free-Fall Naval Parachutist. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (9 awards), and Army Achievement Medal.