MCPON tells sailors to lower their standards

| April 26, 2022

MCPON Russell Smith

We’ve talked about Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith before, a few times, most recently when it was announced he was under investigation for misconduct (which apparently is still ongoing). Smith took over as MCPON when his predecessor abruptly resigned amid his own misconduct accusations.

Recently three sailors assigned to the carrier USS George Washington (laid up in dry dock for refit) died within days of each other. They join four others who died aboard ship in the last year. The death of seven sailors assigned to the minimally manned in-port warship is triggering an investigation.

Amidst this, the highest ranking enlisted sailor in the fleet met with sailors for an all-hands question and answer meeting. This leader of men did not inspire confidence among his troops. Here are some of the highlights. I’m abbreviating quotes, but according to the sailors present, these are the messages they received.

Sailor: “My question for you is I saw that we are offering a $25,000 bonus for new enlistees. Are we doing anything for the people trying to stay in?”

MCPON: “I give you a paycheck for that.”

Sailor, addressing livability issues, asks: “Some of those things include the allocation of our BAS to ship meals, parking issues, cold water, hot water. Living standards that aren’t necessarily up to par.”

MCPON, before going off on a tangent about how he enjoys his E-9 parking privileges (no joke): “I think we probably could have done better to manage your expectations”

Sailor asked if they’ve hired more mental health doctors, and the MCPON basically said the schooling for such is tough, long, and expensive. It “doesn’t lend itself necessarily to come to the Navy.”

Even the MCPON isn’t immune to being given the brush off by mental health: “When I went through a divorce last year, I tried to get a mental healthcare, uh, appointment and they said, Hey, it’s gonna be six weeks. I was like, well, I’m gonna be in a very different place in six weeks. So I think I’m gonna, I’m gonna take care of myself cause I can afford to.”

MCPON, responding to quality of life aboard ship: “What you’re not doing is sleeping in a foxhole like a marine might be doing.”

Why are sailors killing themselves? We don’t know, Mr. President. We sent the man whose job description is “The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy is appointed by the Chief of Naval Operations to serve as a spokesperson to address the issues of enlisted personnel to the highest positions in the Navy. As such, they are the senior enlisted advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and to the Chief of Naval Personnel.” He reports that the tone deaf beating he gave them did not improve morale. We’re baffled and out of ideas, sir.

Full transcript here. 

Category: "Teh Stoopid", "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", "Truth or fiction?", "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Big Pentagon, Disposable Warriors, Navy, Support the troops, YGBSM!!

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Green Thumb


Old tanker

On the plus side I didn’t see anything about a 9 hour power point presentation covering the 853 genders and proper pronouns in the article here.


Arrgh– just be glad yer not a Marine, shipmate! (Gee, inspiring. /sarc)

Last edited 10 months ago by Anonymous

Point taken from the MCPON that the Sailors aren’t chewing dirt in a foxhole, but until you’ve done it, you don’t realize that shipboard duty is no piece of cake. I was never PCS to ships, but always had mad respect for those who were. You give up a lot.

My very first TAD trip on board USS Henry B. Wilson, the STG1 who was the LPO in the sonar shack had 19 years in the USN. 17 of those years were shipboard duty. And you know what? The STGC select was a million times more inspirational than this putz. He cared about his shipmates and took the extra steps to make their lives a bit easier.

Not like the exalted MCPON.


Tone deaf doesn’t even begin to cover it. As much as the yards suck, Norfolk sucks that much worse. Bad area, no parking, horrible infrastructure, kids living on barges with no heat, AC, or water, food is godawful, the list goes on.


Everything closed at sunset due to the rough neighborhood the yards were located in. God that place sucked.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

It’s that bad since I left the ship in 1966??? I don’t remember kids living on barges or were there barges back when I was in???. All I remember is the Tradewinds, Gedunk on pier 4 and all the tailor and locker places outside the main gate. I forgot the pool hall above the movie theater on the base.


Concur. No’f*ck could be a serious armpit.

Last edited 10 months ago by Anonymous

Ah yes, the joys of being in the yards at Metro Machine…



The Almighty blessed my battalion with CSM McIntosh. He is the CSM every E-9 should aspire to be.

He turned down Brigade and Division CSM slots “to stay with the men”.



Unfortunately, you can’t really do that anymore. Two years and done, move up or move out.

George V

Quite a discussion if the MCPON would talk about going into bars and trying to pick up…. wait, that’s not the topic? Well the headline said he told sailors to lower their standards!

On a serious note, the DoD seems to be reinforcing the Peter Principle quite well these days.

I am referring to this Peter Principle, not where your minds went:


King George, if there is anything sailors need no instruction on, it is lowering their standards in bars… 😉 


Sailors have standards in bars? Who knew? Learn something new every day around here.


We have standards to lower, unlike some. Swim lane, in. Stay! Good doggies.

USMCMSgt (Ret)

Useless piece of shit cocksucker.


USMCMSgt (Ret), no need to hold back, you’re among friends here. Tell us how you really feel.

Sailors might as well lower there expectations and standards. Big Navy already has.

Slick Goodlin

In the 1970’s my Sergeant Major in the 82nd Airborne summed it up for us:

“People expect the military to do in six months….what the parents, the priests and the cops couldn’t do in eighteen years.”


For the most part, they did it, too!




Well done, shipmate! Your inspiring words are going to do wonders for retention!


Can’t wait ’til he gets and whines about his 100% VA disability for PTSD from “deployment stress” being on carrier way off Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. (plus how great his new recreational skydiving hobby is) with an old Merchant Marine dude who lost several ships and buddies to U-boat attack, had to fight to be “veteran” for the VA and go only 10%short serious injuries.

Last edited 10 months ago by Anonymous

…get only 10% for serious injuries. (Frickin’ auto correct.)

You get idea. Old Merchant Marine will get ticked and rightfully say somethin’.

Last edited 10 months ago by Anonymous

Couple years ago I was looking up stats on worst disasters during wartime. Merchant Marines have it in spades. They really gave it all.


This asshat isn’t fit to oversee a shit burning detail, let alone the entire Navy. I’d love to hear what’s being said in the Chief’s mess.


Oh, the Goat Locker is humming with “thanks” for the august, exalted MCPON!

The Stranger

They’re singing him a rousing hymn!


I’m not Navy but that’s my favorite hymn!

Green Thumb

Bet he works the CNO’s balls like nothing we have ever seen.

Hack Stone

More like “Lower your expectations”. The Federal Government does not have enough money to meet the minimum living standards for the military, because that money was diverted to pass out iPhones to “undocumented immigrants”.


Three Sailors chose to END their lives:

3 USS George Washington Sailors Took Their Own Lives In One Week: Report”

Texas National Guardsman Bishop E. Evans chose to SAVE two lives and died by drowning.

“Body of Missing Texas Guardsman Bishop E. Evans Is Found”

“The body of missing Texas National Guardsman Bishop E. Evans was found Monday morning, three days after he dove into the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border to save two migrants attempting to cross the treacherous waters and enter the US illegally.”

“… the two migrants involved were crossing the river into the US “illegally” and were a part of “illicit transnational narcotics trafficking.” They remained in custody as of Saturday.”

Focus needs to be more on Evans than the Sailors.

Rest In Peace, Soldier.

bishop evans.jpg
A Proud Infidel®™

The “I’ve got mine, to hell with you peasants” kind of fucking SELLOUT, the kind who sell their souls and leave everyone else behind.


I’m not Navy-inclined, but my brother and nephew (who’ve both ETSd, thankfully) are.
I don’t know that my expectations could be much lower than Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith. He/she/it (aka H’Sh’it) is Barnathian level swamp-slime (apologies to all the swamp slime in Louisiana).
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith needs to be keel-hauled, IMHO.


Gray, Smith isn’t a MCPON… he’s a fucking Echo nine of the Navy. Big difference between the two.


I am a 10 year Army vet and a fed employee in the DoD. It’s not much better on the civilian side. They must be using the same criteria to promote leaders across the board.


In 1989 the sergeant major of the Army gave a talk of inspiration to an NCO course at Fort Benning. A staff sergeant mentioned he had two duty assignments since he enlisted — Ranger battalion and 82nd Airborne. He had never been in any other kind of infantry unit, and those back-to-back-to-back assignments did not bode well for family stability. The SMA said, “You don’t like your job, get out.” There were loud murmurs from every NCO in the audience. Whether the perfumed prince understood was debatable. Assigned to the Pentagon and keeping in touch with “enlisted personnel?” Not bloody likely.

Green Thumb

I bet that guy was still better than “Jerk Off” Jack Tilley.


“back-to-back-to-back assignments”

You didn’t mention how long he has been in the Army.I will assume 7 years (84 months). Two duty stations in 7 years is not what I would call “unstable”. I am definitely curious about what sort of Army assignment has longer tours.
And, as far as I know, airborne duty is voluntary, as is Ranger duty. Please correct me if I am wrong; it’s been a while.

“Requirements for promotion to SSG are as follows:

  • Primary Zone:Board appearance is 82 months TIS/eight months TIG.
  • Earliest promotion after 84 months TIS/ten months TIG.”


I agree with the Sgt. Major.

Green Thumb



And then stuck.


I am only recounting what I witnessed. Other NCOs were somewhat pissed at the SMA’s response. As for TIS and TIG, I was promoted staff sergeant exactly 36 months from date of enlistment, with eight months time in grade.

A Proud Infidel®™

My bet is that he’s been a “Do as I say, not as I do!” kind of politician all through his career.


After seeing posts of some of the food served to the crews, I’m wondering if there is ANY wardroom involvement in the crew’s welfare. These kind of comments from a person (not gonna call him a leader) who is supposed to be the EM’s ombudsman would make me ashamed to be a chief.


Another fucking Echo-nine cocksucking assclown… probably an uninitiaited Happy Meal eating pussy.

If the CNO had a set of balls (I’m guessing he doesn’t), he’d tell the Echo-nine to retire ASAP for that shit or fire his ass on the spot.


He forgot to tell the sailors ‘They should take less pay’. Remember former SMMC Michael Barrett at his infamous Congressional testimony?


If I had any damned ambition, I’d try and photoshop Bernath’s face into that photo.


The one night I slept on board a ship was plenty. Could not imagine a worse place. That includes between 6 WWII Vets after a night of drinking beer with beans. Now that was musical,,,noisy but musical. Thank God it was 20 below in Michigan. Kept the smell at bay. The spaces on the Alamogordo were just a bit this side of hell…well for an Airman anyway.


After visiting a few ships and seeing how the enlisted sailors live, I can understand why someone might ENLIST in the Navy, I just can’t understand why anybody would RE-ENLIST in the Navy.

bullnuke MMCM

I’m not sure about the other services but the Master Chiefs (and in some cases, E-8 Senior Chiefs) placed in the senior enlisted advisor positions at various commands up to and including Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy are, by and large, very political animals that in most cases seek these positions as an ego booster that puts themselves above the lesser enlisted creatures and allows them to move in the upper echelons of their various commands as some sort of equal to the O-gangers. From the original MCPON Black, when the position was created to relay the concerns of the enlisted ranks to the senior Navy Leadership in DC during the bad days during that Crazy Asian War, the position has morphed into some sort of figurehead PR position to record the DC party line, fly all over the world on the government dime, and replay the recorded party line to various command enlisted folks who are supposed to believe the bullshit flowing from his lips because he’s “one of them, you know”.


“the position has morphed..”

I doubt if anything has changed since those halcyon days of yesteryear. The first SMA had a spot of trouble and plea bargained his way out, losing a DSM in the process. There was also a retired MG, a former Provost Marshall of MACV, who was recalled to active duty to face charges. I seem to remember other cases, but after a half century I wouldn’t bet on it.

wayne (AMS3)

this MCPON is a moron his is just like any civilian employer, if you not like where you are at then leave. I was in in 70’s commands tried to help their people that’s right i said people. Not just saying fu you don’t matter. Service life is a whole new life style that stays with you for life. these shipmates need help not lip service.

[[Name edited to remove PII -Mason]]


Know what would be a shame? If every time this turd does 1/2 mph over the posted speed limit some hard hittin’ Seaman gave this undesirable waste of E-9 pay a ticket.
And/or wait until he stumbles out of the bar.
It’s called Administrative Violence and can only be a provable conspiracy if you leave a written trail or are dumb enough to discuss on video.*

*I’m not a lawer, it’s your career, don’t take this as advice.

Green Thumb

If you really think about it, the standards were lowered when this clown was promoted / chosen for this position.

em3 lhd1 1991-95

NOf*ck is bad but portsmouth is worse. Every dry dock period at least one shipmate shot and planted. at least beer was cheap on base bout only thing.
This echoNine is lousy without a doubt.


This particular MCPON is appears interested in addressing the issues of enlisted personnel, namely the MCPON’s personal issues.