Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday has selected Fleet Master Chief James Honea to become the 16th master chief petty officer of the Navy.

Gilday made the announcement during an event Thursday at the U.S. Naval Academy, according to a Navy release.

Honea, who currently serves as the senior enlisted leader of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, will take on the new job Sept. 8.

“I selected Fleet Master Chief Honea because he has saltwater in his veins, embodies Navy values in every fiber of his being, and is the right leader to inspire and motivate our Chiefs Mess to continue to be the best in the world,” Gilday said. “I know he and I will work together to take care of our Sailors and ensure our Navy is the most formidable across the globe.”

Honea enlisted in 1987 and advanced through the ranks as a boatswain’s mate.

He was most recently the fleet master chief for U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Honea will replace MCPON Russell Smith, who took on the job in August 2018.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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