Russell Smith, the 15th master chief petty officer of the Navy, “retired honorably with no pending adverse or reportable matters” last week, a service spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

Navy Times broke the news in February that the Naval Inspector General was investigating Smith over allegations of misconduct.

Smith handed over the reins as the Navy’s highest-ranking enlisted sailor to new MCPON James Honea during a ceremony Thursday at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Smith became MCPON in 2018, following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor, former MCPON Steven Giordano. Giordano left the post following a series of Navy Times stories detailing allegations about his hair trigger temper and accusations he behaved like a Hollywood diva.

While declining to discuss specific allegations against Smith, a defense official told Navy Times in February that they were not at the level of the misconduct alleged against former MCPON Giordano.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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