SOUTH CHINA SEA – The guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) frocked two new Master Chief Petty Officers on Apr. 28.
Senior Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician Claude M. Martinez and Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Jaye J. Bell, currently deployed in the Western Pacific aboard William P. Lawrence, were surprised to hear the Boatswain’s Mate pipe “All Hands” immediately following reveille. Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, began his announcement in an attempted somber tone which quickly transformed into jubilant congratulations.
Martinez and Bell were selected for advancement to master chief petty officer and were frocked later that morning on the mess decks with 300 of their shipmates proudly observing and cheering.
Martinez, who has been in the Navy for over twenty-three years, is the Engineering Department’s Leading Chief Petty Officer, also known as the ‘Top Snipe,’ aboard William P. Lawrence. Out of more than one hundred eligible Gas Turbine Systems Senior Chiefs, Martinez was one of five selected for advancement this year. “The journey has been long, but I know I was never alone; I have a great support system in my family, friends, and shipmates,” said Martinez. “From our youngest Sailors to all of the Commanding Officers with whom I have served—I’m forever indebted to them and to the country that has given me so much."
Bell, who serves as the ship’s Maintenance and Material Management System Coordinator and Command Managed Equal Opportunity Manager, was one of only two Senior Chief Gunner’s Mates selected for advancement this cycle.
“Achieving a twenty-one year goal, it’s indescribable,” said Bell, who joined the Navy in 1995 as a deck Seaman Recruit. “I’m eternally grateful to all the Sailors who helped me find my stride as a leader, and I’m humbled by my family’s sacrifice. I can’t pay back what everyone else has sacrificed for me to get to this point in my career, but I live each day with the intention to earn everything and to incessantly mentor the greatest generation—to make each day count and never let down my shipmates or my family.”
“I’m very proud of our two new master chiefs,” said Command Master Chief Sergio H. Moreno. “They set a sterling standard of excellence and lead their Sailors and junior officers to meet and surpass every challenge. By their leadership, our Navy is the best in the world.”
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific, William P. Lawrence, commanded by Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.
For more information, please visit www.lawrence.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/usswilliamplawrence.