By MC3 Ivana Campbell, Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka Public Affairs
(YOKOSUKA, Japan) – Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (FLEACT) Command Master Chief (CMC) Martin K. King retired from the Navy after 30 years of service April 29. He was a forward-deployed Sailor for more than 24 years of his career, with 11 tenant commands under his belt including five ships and two operational squadrons. After listing off his various achievements, Master Chief said he couldn’t believe how quickly the time passed.
“I never thought I would be where I am today,” said King. “I never intended to make the Navy a career when I first joined in 1986.”
In the early stages of his time in the Navy, Master Chief said his opinion of work and what it means to be a Sailor changed drastically. Reporting to his first command as an Airmen Recruit, Master Chief reflected on his first experiences with leadership.
“I will never forget my first Chief,” said King. “Gary Stout was his name. He would make everyone in the division study at his house for two hours every day after work and I used to hate it, but it turned us all into subject matter experts in our rate. I left that command as a Second Class Petty Officer. I am grateful that he did that for us and I was inspired to become a leader like him.”
Master Chief King has been the CMC of three different commands. King said that every time he moved to a new place he was overwhelmed with emotion.
“I always had that initial nervousness and adrenaline,” said King. “I just wanted to make sure I did the best job that I could no matter where I was.”
Master Chief said the year 1986 was a very important to him because it was also when he met his wife, Adelina. They had celebrated their 28th anniversary just a few days before his retirement ceremony.
“She was the most beautiful woman that I had ever seen and she still is today,” said King with a smile. “She is my best friend, partner and the strongest person that I know.”
Two years ago, Adelina was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 cancer said an emotional King during the April 29th ceremony.
“After two years of chemotherapy every three weeks, and for the first six months over eight hours of treatment, she kicked cancer’s butt!” said King holding back tears.
After presenting flowers to Adelina and thanking various people who influenced and enhanced his career, Master Chief gave advice to the next generation of Sailors. “Don’t worry about how many awards you can get or how fast you can advance,” said King. “Learn your job, do it right, and work hard and I guarantee that everything else will come.”
Looking towards to the future, Master Chief said that he just looks forward to spending the rest of his days peacefully with his wife and catching a few New York Mets and Ranger games.
FLEACT Yokosuka provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of 7th Fleet’s Forward-Deployed Naval Forces, 83 tenant commands and 24,000 Military and civilian personnel.