CMDCM(Surface Warfare/Aviation Warfare) Stephen Vandergrifft
Command Master Chief
Master Chief Vandergrifft, a native of Freeport, Texas, enlisted in the Navy in 1987. After completing Recruit Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, he attended Aviation Electronics Technician “A” School and Advanced First Term Avionics (AFTA) in Millington, Tennessee.
Upon completion of his rate training, he reported to NAS Cecil Field Sea Operations Detachment (SEAOPDET) for his first sea duty assignment attached to USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71). While serving aboard the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, he completed his first Mediterranean deployment and first combat deployment participating in Operation Desert Storm.
After his initial sea tour, he attended AVI-C7 school in Millington, Tennessee and returned to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) NAS Cecil Field for shore duty where he served as the VAST shop Leading Petty Officer. His second sea tour was split between USS AMERICA (CV 66) and, following her decommissioning, another tour aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71). It was during this tour that he was selected to Chief Petty Officer in 1998.
Returning to shore duty, Chief Vandergrifft served as course lead and Assistant Chief Petty Officer in Charge at Naval Air Maintenance Training Group Detachment (NAMTRAGRUDET) at NAS Oceana. During his following tour aboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73), he was selected to Senior Chief Petty Officer and served as AIMD IM3 Division Leading Chief Petty Officer.
He then reported to Fleet Composite Squadron Six (VC 6) at NAVSTA Norfolk for shore duty and served as the Operations Leading Chief Petty Officer. His next sea tour was aboard USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7) where he served as AIMD Quality Assurance Officer and the IM2 and IM3 Division Officer. Opting to stay at sea, his next tour was aboard USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH (CVN 77) where he was selected to Master Chief Petty Officer and Command Master Chief.
Master Chief Vandergrifft has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Saint Leo University and is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy and the Command Master Chief Course. His military decorations include the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal (four awards), and various service and campaign awards.