Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


CMDCM(SS/IW) Richard L. James, Jr.
Commanding Master Chief

Click for high resolution

Master Chief James enlisted in the Navy on October 26, 1992 and attended Recruit Training in Orlando Florida.  Upon completion of Electrician’s Mate “A” school, he graduated from Naval Nuclear Power School, in Orlando, Florida and Naval Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit in Charleston, South Carolina.

In August 1994, he reported to USS BOISE (SSN 764) in Norfolk, Virginia.  He completed two operational deployments in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and Persian Gulf and qualified in “Submarines”, earning his Silver Dolphins.  In October 1999, he reported onboard USS LA JOLLA (SSN 701), completing an Engineering Refueling Overhaul in Portsmouth, New Hampshire prior to changing homeport to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  Onboard LA JOLLA he completed a Western Pacific deployment and was selected for Chief Petty Officer in September 2002.  He then transferred to USS OLYMPIA (SSN 717) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and served as the Electrical Division Leading Chief Petty Officer during two Western Pacific deployments.  While assigned, he qualified as Diving Officer of the Watch and was selected for Senior Chief Petty Officer.  In July 2005, he reported onboard USS CHICAGO (SSN 721) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as the Engineering Department Master Chief.  While assigned, the ship completed two Western Pacific deployments and received the Engineering Excellence Red “E” award.
Master Chief James reported to Commander, Submarine Squadron Seven in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in January 2008 as the Engineering Department Master Chief and Electrical Assistant.  While assigned, he qualified as Chief of the Boat and was selected for Master Chief Petty Officer.  In January 2010, he transferred to Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballston Spa, New York.  He completed qualifications as Engineering Officer of the Watch and relieved as the Plant Master Chief at the MARF Prototype.  After selection by the Director of Naval Reactors, he attended the Senior Enlisted Academy and CMC/COB Course and relieved in March 2012 as the Command Master Chief, Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballston Spa, New York.  Master Chief James reported in May 2014 as the Command Master Chief and Engineering Department Master Chief, Commander, Submarine Group EIGHT and Commander, Task Force SIX NINE, in Naples, Italy.  In March 2016, he was selected into the Command Master Chief program, and reported onboard USS ROSS (DDG 71) in December 2016 as the Command Master Chief.
Master Chief James is authorized to wear the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (six awards), and various other unit and campaign awards.  He is an honor graduate from the Senior Enlisted Academy, and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering Technology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Excelsior College.