Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) and Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Command Master Chief Charles Grandin reenlisted for possibly the final time of his 27-year career in the United States Navy May 9 during morning colors at China Lake.
Grandin first enlisted in the Navy in 1985. Since that time, he has served with distinction as a submariner rising in rank to become a Command Master Chief. â€œWhen I was a young Sailor, I always wanted to be like my LPO [Leading Petty Officer]. When I became the Leading Petty Officer, I then set my goals to become the chief. When I became a chief, I wanted to be a command master chief,â€ said Grandin. â€œI always knew that the chiefs ran the ship. If you ever needed anything you could go to your chiefs and they would have the answer or offer seasoned advice.â€
In 1988, Grandin reenlisted for the first time after debating whether or not he would stay in the Navy or return to civilian life to continue college. â€œI loved my job at the end of my first reenlistment, and I respected the people I worked with. Job satisfaction influenced my main decision to stay Navy,â€ he said.
Twenty four years later, Grandin reflected on his latest reenlistment. â€œIt used to be that you just kept extending. They said I needed to reenlist because I had extended too many times,â€ he said. â€œBut, it was as special to me as my first reenlistment. It reaffirmed my commitment to our Navy.â€
In September 1993, after only eight years in the Navy, Grandin reached the rank of chief petty officer. It takes the average Sailor six years longer to make that grade. Grandin has advice for Sailors with similar ambitions. â€œI would recommend to all new Sailors to maintain enthusiasm and a â€˜can doâ€™ attitude. Just stay focused on your goals. Never forget where you come from and who got you where you are.â€
â€œWhen you make Chief, some folks think itâ€™s an opportunity to rest on your laurels because you finally made it,â€ said Grandin. â€œIn all actuality, it is a time to step it up because you now have increased responsibility and accountability not only to your command, the mission and Sailors, but to your fellow chiefs Navy-wide as well. You literally become a part of something bigger. The Chiefs Mess is not just area or command-centric, it is truly a Navy-wide Chiefâ€™s Mess. You need to be there 24/7 as â€˜the chiefâ€™ to make sure that our Sailors are set up for success both on and off duty.â€
The Year of the Chief Celebration being put on by Navy Memorial is meant to honor the Navy-wide Chiefâ€™s Mess that Grandin talks about. â€œIn the past, we have had a year celebrating the centennial of naval aviation and one celebrating the submarine force,â€ said Grandin. â€œBut, the opportunity to celebrate our chief petty officers allows us to reflect on 119 years of true deck plate leadership.â€
â€œIâ€™d like to thank the China Lake community by making my last re-enlistment a lot like my first.â€ I have found myself again in a position of loving my job and respecting the people I work with resulting in a great deal of job satisfaction,â€ said Grandin. â€œThe China Lake military and civilian population has a small town atmosphere where everybody takes care of each other and works well together. Together we make a direct impact on our militaries mission each and every day and we have fun doing it.â€