The top enlisted sailor at Navy Region Mid-Atlantic died suddenly Monday night at his home in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Command Master Chief Gregg Snaza has been the top enlisted man at NRMA since May.
"We extend our deepest condolences to Master Chief Snaza's wife and children, his family and his Navy family," said Rear Adm. Rick Williamson, the head of Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. "Master Chief Snaza served our nation, our Navy and Sailors with honor and distinction for more than 32 years. They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Snaza, 50, took assumed his role at mid-Atlantic in June. He had previously served as CMC of the carrier Eisenhower, Naval Station Norfolk, the destroyer Ross and the Multi-National Force — Iraq Strategic Effects (Communications Division) in Baghdad.
In his career as a senior enlisted sailor, Snaza advocated for face-to-face leadership and moving away from over-reliance on impersonal forms of communication like emails.
"I also expect leaders to get to know their Sailors to the point of understanding their goals and aspirations," Snaza told the region's newspaper, The Flagship, in July.
"I believe if you take genuine interest in your Sailors they will do amazing things when asked. Those who know me understand I firmly believe we use e-mail way too much. I believe in face-to-face meetings with Sailors to not only pass information, but to actually communicate. I'll take talking over e-mail every day of the week."
Snaza joined the Navy in 1983 and served as a Navy journalist. He has served on the battleship Wisconsin, the cruiser Josephus Daniels, the carrier George Washington and the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge.
Snaza is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents and a grandson, according to NRMA.