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First SEAL Selected to Serve as a Fleet Master Chief

Force Master Chief Derrick Walters.

In a first for the Navy, SEAL Force Master Chief Derrick Walters was selected to become one of the service’s four fleet master chiefs.

Walters is set to be the next Fleet Master Chief for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces. He’s due to take over the role in the Spring. Walters is replacing current Fleet Master Chief Raymond Kemp. The other three fleet master chief positions are in U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and for Navy Total Force/Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education.

Adm. James Foggo, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and the Allied Joint Forces Command Naples, made the announcement Friday. In his new job, Walters will advise Foggo and provide a direct link to the enlisted Navy personnel serving in Europe.

“I am excited to announce Force Master Chief Derrick Walters will be our new Fleet Master Chief,” Foggo said in a statement. “He is a proven leader who brings a tremendous and very unique wealth of experience and will advocate for our Sailors and their families serving overseas.”

Walters is currently the Force Master Chief for Naval Special Warfare, which is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. Previously, was the senior enlisted leader at NATO Special Operations headquarters. Walters also did a tour of duty with SEAL Team 8, two tours with SEAL Team 2, and two tours with Naval Special Warfare Group 2.

“Force Master Chief Walters has a stellar record,” Foggo’s said in the statement. “Accordingly, he rose to the top of an impressive list of candidates considered for this critical job and I look forward to the pride, professionalism, and experience he will bring to our mission in Europe and Africa.”


    Master Chief Walters should be a good fit for NAVEUR Fleet Master Chief. The current activities of Russia in the geographical area need to be addressed an he will provide an Operators viewpoint for Special Operations resources if needed in this area.

  • Ed L

    I remember that back in my day 70’s and 80’s when the SEALs and the rest of Special Warfare community were treated like an orphan stepchild in the Regular Navy. Once while doing combinations changes for the Flag Staff who just moved aboard in the flag spaces I overheard many of the Officers were complaining about have to work with SEALs and Army Special Ops. However the COS who overheard the conversation had a different opinion. The COS said anyone who is offend by having to work with Special Ops can put into a transfer. I think he also said something about administrative positions at the Shipyards or Yorktown NWS

    • Curtis Conway

      SOF troops/sailors/airmen are by definition Joint. There is many an SOF troop that is a concert pianist, has a degree in something. The USAF senior enlisted cannot even compete for the top three without a degree.

      • Ed L

        not back in the 70’s and 80’s they were just starting to becoming under a Joint Operational Umbrellas. Admiral Lyons was the First SEAL to make Admiral

        • Curtis Conway

          That is probably why he is so Up Front, Forthright, and Above Board. Most everybody else is into subterfuge to some extent, not telling the truth, and facing the music.

  • Western

    Glad to see we are promoting warriors into positions of influence.

  • Curtis Conway

    I’m wondering how a United States Navy SEAL made Master Chief, and the subsequent commands had not recommended and awarded him a JUMA. He has plenty of awards, that’s for sure, but any SEAL’s middle name ought to be ‘Joint’.

  • Congratulations Master Chief!

  • Secundius

    I’m sort of curious as to why being a SEAL and a Master Chief of the Navy would be such a Big Deal…

  • Leroy

    Good! I’d like to see him dig into why we have some serious issues in the SpecWar community. A few bad-apple SEALs and others who cannot keep their ops to themselves (mouths shut) after they get out.

    The job is tough enough. Don’t talk about your missions in books and movies after punching out thereby making the going tougher for those that follow (same goes for all communities). Loose lips kill SEALs!