Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bubblehead Really Gets Around

I ran across this article in Navy Times and something caught my eye. Its a fairly routine story about some Force Master Chief replacements. Down in the details I ran across the name of FLTCM (AW/SS/SW/PJ) Michael J. McCalip who is stepping down as Fleet Master Chief of the Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Command.

Whenever I find a sailor with more than two warfare devices I have to ask; is this guy a hot runner that was able to write his own ticket or is he a badge collector that likes to wear a nametag big enough to hold all of his designations? (Can you imagine his shore duty desk top nameplate?)

My first thought was that he was some skimmer that got to ride a boat on an op and was gifted some dolphins the way middies are. (Notice I didn't say Crytpo Techs. We ran them through the ringer for quals on the Ustafish. If they were serious about being part of the crew, we helped them learn the systems that could save their lives and ours.)

I did a little research on FLTCM (AW/SS/SW/PJ) McCalip and found out he is the real deal. After serving as a skimmer radioman on the birdfarm USS KITTY HAWK, McCalip realized the error of his ways and began his service in the real navy. He served on USS STONEWALL JACKSON (SSBN 634), USS DALLAS (SSN 700) and USS SIMON BOLIVAR (SSBN 641).

Selected into the Chief of the Boat program in June 1992, Master Chief McCalip served as Chief of the Boat onboard USS BOISE (SSN 764) from April 1993 to November 1995. He then spread his wings and decided to fix the surface navy and went back to targets.

Some where during his skimmer time he managed to qualify as a naval parachutist in addition to his surface warfare and air warfare designations. His personal awards include six Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. (Once again proving that even a hot running enlisted man has to walk on water to get a NAM. You let Ensign Butterbar not screw up during his cherry ORSE and he gets a NAM but a FLTCM with 31 years of service can only manage 2. I guess the MSM cam after he made Master Chief and the brass figured out he wasn't just another idiot enlisted man.)

Congratulations on a great career Master Chief. I only wished we could have served together. (The Lord knows I needed a better COB than the one I had during one particularly difficult year.) Despite your skimmer and boomer time, you appear to exhibit the "No Slack, Fast Attack" attitude. BZ!


Anonymous said...

He IS the real deal.
I knew him in Pensacola.

Congratulations on your career and look up old friends if you ever get back to this beautiful place.

Dana Lupo said...

Enjoyed the read! And yes, I can verify that...he IS the real deal, both professionally and personally. I've had the pleasure of standing by him the last five years...and looking forward to many more. If only we could get this ship underway! ;)

Anonymous said...

He is the most political enlisted man I ever met. I knew him on the USS George Washington and he divided the Chiefs mess. When in port he would hold Department Leading Chief meetings on Friday at 4pm. For those of you who have served you know what this means. I have never heard another Master Chief ever bad mouth a Master Chief until E9 McCalip took over CMC duties from Master Chief Dale Marteney. He was hated amongst Chiefs and I was one of them, enough said.

Anonymous said...

I had a Chief that apparently hated his wife and would hide on the boat until 1930 nearly every day. It was my last year and I had a bad case of IDGAF's. Fortunately, I only had him for a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

A very long line of google searches led me to this page. I'm merely an E-2 in the USN and was told about this man merely because of his brother(my girlfriend's uncle) merely mentioning him. He is a good sailor.

Anonymous said...

"He is the most political enlisted man I ever met" I have to second that. His goal was to be MCPON and EVERYONE was just a means to an end to achieve that. Navy dodged a bullet on that one.