Command Master Chief

 Debra J. Downs

United States Navy

   Master Chief Debra J. Downs enlisted in the United States Navy in September 1985. Upon completion of Recruit Basic Training in Orlando, Florida she transferred to Millington, Tennessee where she attended AME “A” school. In March of 1986, she reported to VX-4 in Point Mugu as a maintenance technician on F/A-18, F-14, and F-4 aircraft. In 1989, Master Chief Downs transferred to VP-4 in Barbers Point, Hawaii. During the next three years, Master Chief Downs deployed to Adak, Alaska, Panama and twice to Diego Garcia in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.

   Upon graduation as a Corrections Officer in June 1992, Master Chief Downs was assigned to the Correctional Custody Unit at Naval Station, San Diego, California. and then to the Naval Consolidated Brig in Miramar, California. In August 1995, Master Chief Downs transferred to Whidbey Island, Washington with the VAQ-138 “Yellow Jackets” where she was assigned as the Line Division Leading Petty Officer. Master Chief Downs made two deployments onboard the USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in addition to detachments to Iwakuni, Japan. In 2000, she deployed onboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) where she served as both the Line Division Leading Chief and Flight Deck Coordinator, deploying to the Persian Gulf with a detachment to Aviano, Italy in support of the Kosovo conflict. Master Chief Downs was selected as 2002 CPO/NCO “Prowler of the Year” for excellence in leadership as she deployed for her second time onboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS.

   Master Chief Downs reported to the United States Naval Academy in October 2002, as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for 22nd Company. While assigned to the Academy, she was deployed as an Individual Augmentee to Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Joint Detention Operations, as Charlie Company First Sergeant for the first Naval Provisional Guard Battalion. During this assignment she was promoted to Master Chief Petty Officer. Upon return to the Naval Academy she served as the 5th Battalion Leading Chief. Master Chief Downs then transferred to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Division (AIMD), NAS Whidbey Island until attending the Senior Enlisted Academy, Class 115 in May 2006. In August 2006, she reported to VFA-154 as the Black Knight Command Master Chief and in 2007, made her third deployment onboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS. In June 2008, she was assigned as Command Master Chief for Commander, Carrier Air Wing NINE, completing her fourth deployment onboard USS John C. STENNIS. June 2011 marked her return from a successful one year tour as Command Master Chief, Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Master Chief Downs is a KEYSTONE graduate of the National Defense University and is currently assigned as Command Master Chief for Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing ELEVEN. Her personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with silver star, and various unit and campaign awards.