NORFOLK, Va. – Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet hosted a retirement ceremony for Command Master Chief (CMDCM) Huben Phillips at Joint Forces Staff College, Aug. 11, 2023, to celebrate more than 34 years of service.
Phillips served as command master chief, U.S. 2nd Fleet and senior enlisted leader, Joint Force Command Norfolk for his last assignment.
Vice Adm. Daniel Dwyer, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, presided over the ceremony that hosted some of the Navy’s highest leadership from the officer and enlisted ranks. Dwyer explained what Phillips meant to not only the two commands they led together but the Navy as a whole.
“To summarize what Fleet Phillips does each and every day, I can only share with you one word: impact,” Dwyer said during his speech at the ceremony. “He impacts every person he comes into contact with on the deck plates and makes them better, and I count myself among them.”
Vice Adm. Alvin Holsey, military deputy commander, U.S. Southern Command, was among the distinguished leaders in attendance and served as a guest speaker. They previously worked together on Task Force One Navy, a program created by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday to identify and remove racial barriers, improve inclusion efforts, create new opportunities for professional development and eliminate obstacles to enter the Navy.
“Hard doesn’t mean impossible. The question you have to ask yourself is ‘what does hard mean to you?’” Holsey said. “I don’t think hard is even in Huben’s vocabulary because for him, it definitely does not mean impossible. There are some who say it would have been impossible for someone like him, who was born in Lexington, North Carolina, to blaze the trail that he’s blazed. I will share with you that it’s sometimes better to live the impossible than to question what could have been.”
Capt. Gavin Duff, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), another guest speaker, spoke on the positive impacts of quality leadership and how Phillips’ service in the Navy will help into the future.
“Leadership must be based in good will. Good will does not mean posturing,” Duff said. “President Truman said it like this, ‘Always remember that leadership is a privilege. When you are in a leadership role, your influence may affect the trajectories of other people’s entire careers.’ Your legacy will outlive your years of service.”
Phillips discussed his perspective on the most challenging and important part of leading in military service: the people.
“People ask me, what’s the hardest thing about your day, and I think, well two things: people and people,” Phillips said. “Because if they were low, I’d work real hard to pull them up, and if they were high, I would work hard to try to get to their level to connect and impact them.”
Phillips continued by reflecting on his long career as a man humbled by his experiences throughout.
“I walk away from the Navy as a man with many life experiences,” Phillips said. “For all the members in uniform I ask that you reflect on who you are. Not the man or the woman in uniform, but you. The one you stare at in the mirror. Our rank, our titles, our positions merely state what we do, not who we are. I’ve learned many things in my tenure. But three are what I think about every single day. One is patience is its own reward. That was hard for me, I’m not very patient… [Two], I learned there’s a wrong way to do the right thing. That was hard, because morally I felt like I was right so therefore everyone should see that I was right. And most importantly, the biggest barrier to growth is oneself.”
Phillips is succeeded as command master chief for U.S. 2nd Fleet by CMDCM Jason Avin, who previously served as force master chief for Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Honolulu.
U.S. 2nd Fleet, reestablished in 2018 in response to the changing global security environment, develops and employs maritime forces ready to fight across multiple domains in the Atlantic and Arctic in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.
|Date Posted:||08.14.2023 21:34|
|Location:||NORFOLK, VA, US|