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Early life and education
After graduating from high school, West immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He received recruit training and Quartermaster (QM) training at Orlando, Florida, followed by Enlisted Submarine School at Naval Submarine Base New London (Groton, Connecticut). His first duty assignment was on board USS Ethan Allen where he completed Submarine Qualifications (SS). Other assignments include USS Thomas A. Edison, USS Sea Devil, Commander Naval Activities United Kingdom (COMNAVACTUK), USS Tecumseh (Blue), and Tactical Readiness Evaluation (TRE) team on COMSUBPAC Staff.
West was then assigned as Chief of the Boat on board the San Diego-based Fast Attack Submarine USS Portsmouth, completing two Western Pacific deployments. The crew earned two Battle Efficiency "E" awards.
He then served as Command Master Chief at Commander, Submarine Squadron Eleven. Upon completion of his tour at COMSUBRON ELEVEN, he was selected as Force Master Chief (FORCM) and attended the Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island.
West served as Force Master Chief, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), from January 2001 to January 2004.
He was selected during his tour on the USS Preble to serve as United States Pacific Fleet, Fleet Master Chief, from February 2005 to June 2007. Since 2007, West had served as the 14th Fleet Master Chief for Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, prior to his selection as MCPON beginning December 12, 2008.
On December 12, 2008, West accepted the passing of the ceremonial cutlass from outgoing MCPON Joe R. Campa. On September 28, 2012, he stepped down as MCPON and retired from the Navy after a three-decade career.
Awards and decorations
Medals and ribbons
- CNO Selects Fleet Master Chief Rick West to Serve as U.S. Navy's 12th MCPON
- "West's Last HOOYAH, Stevens Takes Helm". navy.mil. September 28, 2012.
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|12th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
December 12, 2008 – September 28, 2012
Michael D. Stevens