Ask me anything… MCPON goes on Reddit

| January 22, 2023

MCPON James Honea invites Sailors to Reddit discussion (Twitter/@NavyMCPON)

James Honea, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, took to Reddit and opened a discussion where he encouraged Sailors with Reddit accounts to ask him questions. For approximately two hours, he fielded questions related to health, compensation, quality-of-life, etc. He zeroed in on mental health, pay issues, and beards. It appears that issues that faced the Navy during the drawdown of the 1990s are impacting Sailors today.

From the military Times:

Honea spent roughly two hours answering questions, offering insight on several issues important to men and women in the fleet while promising to circle back on other queries.

Before he started answering questions, Honea addressed three issues often on the minds of sailors: mental health, pay issues and beards.

Honea, who enlisted 35 years ago, noted that a Navy beard study directed by Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro remains ongoing.

“Beards is not a hill I want to die on, one side or the other,” he wrote. “I understand this is something many of you have brought up and find important and I hear you.”

He noted that problems with the service’s pay and personnel systems “are not acceptable,” and that while personnel support detachments, or PSDs, are not coming back, staff at the replacement transaction service centers “are working hard every day to process transitions quickly and accurately.”

“We are not going back to the past to change our future,” he said of PSDs. “PSDs had problems as well and [are] why we’re going through this transformation. Reminder closing PSDs are not the sole reason for this backlog.”

As for the ongoing pay and paperwork problems, he advised sailors to “continue to elevate issues to leadership to address concerns. If necessary, elevate the concern to me. As your MCPON, I will get involved to make this right.”

Honea repeatedly advised sailors to message him about issues they brought up during the AMA.

While Honea urged sailors to seek mental health help if they need it, he also acknowledged the provider shortage facing not just the Navy but the United States in general.

The military Times has additional information here.

Category: Navy

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Not impressed.

Green Thumb




From the article
“I’m a veteran recruiter who works with troops transitioning out of the Navy. Every day people tell me why they’re leaving and then I help them apply their skills in places where they will be financially and professionally respected. Due to low retention, business has never been better.
“You are driving so much business to my inbox that I barely have to source,” the post continues. “People will talk to me, and then their friends will talk to me, and then they all end up somewhere happier. It’s especially satisfying when I talk to someone on the fence about reenlisting. It takes so little to help with that decision. I give basic facts about a company and suddenly the choice is clear.
“I really don’t have to sell at all when the alternative is continuing to be in the current Navy,” the post concludes. “So I’ll probably be one of the only people to say this but, great job!! Keep it up!!” Honea did not reply


To be fair, the Navy’s re-enlistment pitch to junior enlisted is really “If you stay here for 16 more years or so, it gets a lot better.”


But it really doesn’t. 40% base pay and Tricare that keeps getting cut while premiums increase?
Hard no.
And in certain career fields, even reenlisting once doesn’t make sense, even when big Navy waves a $100k check in front of your face.

Prior Service

The funny thing is if/when beards get approved, the regs will not spell it out clearly and junior leaders will spend all their time getting scuffed up by mid grade leaders about theirs’ or their guys’ facial hair. Be careful what you ask for.


And it won’t be this…
comment image


‘Cause it’ll be this:
comment image


Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5, Lines 28-30.


“We are not going back to the past to change our future…” Welp, news flash for ya MCPON…maybe you should consider doing just that, ’cause what you’re (Big Navy) is doing in the present isn’t working so very well. Jus sayin’. In the past we had a well run Navy with mostly happy sailors and ships that didn’t run into one another and were maintained. You even won a number of gridiron competitions. There was a coupla Navy Documentary Motion Pictures that were fairly well received. Quit flying into the danger zone of wokeness and put all this crap about diversity and inclusion on ice, man. Keep that up and Navy’s goose will be cooked and they’ll be a payback.


I see the relative quiet and calm we’ve been enjoying the last couple of days are over.


Happened before:
comment image


We did cool sh*t navally during World War II and the Cold War that we need to being doing again with the Chicoms and Russkies getting orney once more. Concur.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Ain’t the same Navy I was in. When my ship was over in Viet-Nam, shipmates I keep contact with me said that thay had beard frowing contests but that was it.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Thats beard Growing not beard frowing. typo.


An uncle tells me they did that when he was on the subs too.


$10 contribution to the Rec Fund and you could grow it out the entire patrol or spec op.

A Proud Infidel®™

IMHO he looks like someone’s Uncle about to tell some Kid to pull his finger at a family reunion!


I see bullethead has drank the Kool-Aid and doing what his handlers ask. Pity.

True story. Derrick Walters (Fleet Master Chief and SEAL) was asked to be MCPON. He turned it down saying he didn’t understand most of today’s Sailors gripes and couldn’t identify enough with them. He thought they should work hard, earn their opportunities, and remember why they enlisted. He couldn’t fathom a job where all you do is hear people whine all day. He went back to JSOC where he understood the people and culture.

Same reason I did not want to remain a Command Master Chief. After one tour I realized it was better to be embedded with the Sailors and makes changes within my small teams to better help their careers and lives. Problem is that while you can make an impact it is a small one, and the big Navy crumbles around you. So happy that I am now retired and don’t have to deal with it anymore.


He thought they should work hard, earn their opportunities, and remember why they enlisted.”

They should change “Honor, Courage, Commitment” to this!


He was a badass SEAL and would have definitely shook things if he had decided to be MCPON. Paul Kingsbury was great also and would have been the same way, but it would have been an uphill fight to get the right things changed.


FLTCM Walters has his anchors at CENTCOM now as the SEA.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Well sure, being a SEAL he knows why he enlisted, the problem is a lot of kids don’t have any desire for that level of commitment and didn’t join to have any sort of experience resembling that level of commitment ever, under any circumstance. He was wise to stay in his lane.

Whether anyone likes it or not our society, and our available troop/sailor/airmen/marine/coastie/spacey/whatever are also changing.

Some of these kids that sign up we spend a lot of money training and then we act surprised when they leave because the pay sucks, the working conditions suck, and the military can’t be trusted anymore than the rest of our government to treat them right….there’s a lot of lip service about the importance of personnel that isn’t backed up with action that indicates that lip service holds any weight.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Consequently these kids realize the private sector pays better and with today’s shortage of employees treats them better that at anytime in our nation’s history…when the private sector offers six figure incomes for former enlisted talent with the ability to get a secret clearance why would anyone who wasn’t in the military to be part of the elite stay?

They don’t of course, hence the poor retention and recruiting situation. If we as a nation don’t start to recognize that the people who want to serve, but have zero desire to be the tip of the spear might have different views on what matters than the tip of the spear folks we will continue to have fewer recruits which will only add to the problems already facing the military over retention of trained personnel.


“MCPON Honea, I have a question.”

“Go ahead.”

“When did Woke Fuckery Technician become an official Navy Rating?”


Another worthless, political hack that is suppose to be the “voice” of Enlisted Sailors…


I’d like to know if Biden left any Top Secret docs behind when he commissioned the Deleware. He seems to that everywhere he goes.


The actual MCPON is a whale; a hazard to navigation the second he lumbers out of bed. Jeez.