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 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

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