by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elena Pence, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO - Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) announced the next SURFPAC force master chief, Sept. 28.
Vice Adm. Richard announced Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Brannon Knox will relieve Force Master Chief(SW) Eric Page in a ceremony October 2011.
"Master Chief Knox was selected from a stellar group of senior enlisted leaders, and brings with him a long and distinguished surface career," said Hunt. "Our Sailors are the source of our warfighting capability, and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to ensure that every Sailor on the waterfront is personally and professionally ready."
Page will retire in October after 30 years of service in the Navy.
"This has been by far the toughest, busiest, and most rewarding tour I have ever had in my 30 years of service," said Page. "There is nothing more rewarding than helping developing Sailors and watching as they grow, mature and excel. I am extremely proud of all of our Sailors and leaders in this great Navy. I would not be here if not for great chiefs and officers. I hope I leave it the same and a little better than I found it 30 years ago."
As SURFPAC's Force Master Chief, Knox will focus on junior Sailors and families.
"First and foremost, I want everyone to know the Surface Force is doing great things," said Knox. "Family is very important to me as a leader and I would like to ensure we are giving our families the right amount of attention. Other areas of focus are how we are taking care of our Sailors, manning our ships and maintaining our readiness."
Knox currently serves as the command master chief for USS Essex (LHD 2).
"When I wake in the morning, I come to work to a ship that is 844 feet long and holds a crew of roughly 1,000 Sailors. I'm able to walk from stem to stern and cross paths and discuss issues with any one of my Sailors in a matter of minutes," said Knox. "As the force master chief, I will have to find new ways to get out to my Sailors and get the issues so we can find solutions and move forth. It's a challenge that I'm looking forward to meeting."
Knox's previous assignments as a command master chief include USS Howard (DDG 83) and USS Essex (LHD 2). Throughout his career, Knox served as a radioman on board USS Gridley (CG 21), USS Comstock (LSD 45) USS Jarrett (FFG 33), and USS John C. Stennis. He served as an information systems technician on board USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3), and USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
"I'm looking forward to getting out and meeting the great Sailors that man our ships, and sitting down with the chief petty officer messes and discussing issues that are affecting their ability to accomplish their missions. I'm looking forward to forging the future for the new Sailors that we're bringing into the Force and working alongside my peers and other command master chiefs across the waterfront," said Knox. "It's an honor to serve as the force master chief, and I will work hard at earning my keep each day by serving and working for the Sailors in the force."
SURFPAC's force master chief is responsible for more than 48,000 Sailors serving on more than 130 ships and training/support commands in California, Washington, Hawaii, and Japan. The force master chief answers directly to the Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, on all things affecting enlisted Sailors, working within the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy's leadership mess and various codes within the type commander organization to develop, change and implement policies and programs that affect Sailors and their families.
The force master chief also works directly with the force ombudsman to train and educate surface ombudsmen, remain current on ever-evolving family needs, and work with those organizations that provide assistance to Sailors and their families to meet those needs.