CORONADO, Calif. – Force Master Chief (SW) Eric W. Page relieved Force Master Chief (SW/AW) Michael D. Schanche as Naval Surface Forces (CNSF) Master Chief in a ceremony Aug. 25 at CNSF headquarters in Coronado, Calif.
Assuming force master chief duties in Feb. 2006, Schanche positively impacted the training, readiness, quality of life and future employment of every Sailor within the surface force.
Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, lauded Schanche for his efforts as the principal advocate for enlisted personnel throughout the surface force, which included more than 159 ships and 100,000 enlisted personnel.
“Master Chief Schanche dramatically improved Force readiness through realigning command organizations for better functionality, establishing new pay and leadership billets for senior enlisted Sailors and improving Navy policies to meet the needs of Sailors and their families,” said Curtis. “He has made a permanent and lasting impact on the surface force as well as the Navy.”
Curtis specifically thanked Schanche for his efforts in focusing on the importance of supporting families of deployed service members by establishing the Surface Force Ombudsman Assembly.
“The ombudsman assembly has had and will continue to have a very positive effect on the quality of life for surface force Sailors and their families,” said Schanche. “It gives the ombudsmen a direct forum to discuss concerns with surface force leadership as well as learn about new policy changes that affect Sailors and their families.”
Prior to heading on the command master chief track, Schanche served as a fire control technician aboard USS Leahy (CG 16), USS Princeton (CG 59) and USS Benfold (DDG 65). As a command master chief, he served on board USS Curts (FFG 38) and USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Schanche now heads to Naval Base Everett, Wash., where he will be the command master chief for the base.
“I am leaving feeling proud to have had the opportunity to serve our surface force as the Force Master Chief,” said Schanche. “This tour has taught me how to influence positive change for the future and has showed me how to best support my leadership as well as the Sailors under me. I feel I have made positive changes for our Sailors and families and know that Force Master Chief Page will continue to make long term changes to improve life for the surface force.”
Page’s previous assignments as a command master chief included Assault Craft Unit Five (ACU 5) and USS Germantown (LSD 42). Throughout his career, Page served as a Sonar Technician on board USS Morton (DD 948), USS Richard S. Edwards (DD 950), USS Pledge (MSO 492), USS Schofield (FFG 3), USS Cook (FF 1083), USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Fife (DD 991).
“It is an honor to be in this position,” said Page. “I never thought I would be selected for this position and it is a privilege to serve at this level. It is not about me, it is about the Sailors and how to best support the waterfront.”