The next master chief petty officer of the Navy is a sailor with nearly three decades of service who hails from the cryptologic warfare community.
In a joint announcement on Thursday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens announced Fleet Master Chief Steven Giordano, currently the top enlisted adviser for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, would become the next top enlisted sailor after Stevens retires Sept. 2.
The announcement itself made history, drawing over 1,500 viewers and was broadcast on the brand new Facebook live platform from the Navy's Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island.
Richardson praised the chief petty officers in the audience, saying their conduct and capability was what set the Navy apart on a global scale.
"This selection process just validated to me why the U.S. Navy is the envy of the entire world," he said.
Giordano, who assumed his current position at U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa in March 2015, previously served for three years as the force master chief for Navy Information Dominance Forces. That command has since been renamed Navy information forces.
A Baltimore native, Giordano enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and completed Cryptologic Technician Technical training at the Naval Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida, before reporting to his first duty station at Fleet Reconnaissance Squadron 1 in Agana, Guam.
Giordano has spent a significant portion of his career forward deployed and stationed outside the continental United States, deploying to Bahrain in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm early in his career. While attached to Naval Security Group Activity Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from 1993 to 1996, Giordano completed multiple operational deployments aboard ships attached to U.S. Pacific Fleet, according to his official military biography.
He completed three more operational deployments after reporting to Naval Security Group Activity Rota, Spain, in 1999.
He has also held senior rank aboard ship, serving as the command master chief aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS McClusky from 2009 to 2010.
Stevens, who served as MCPON for four years, advised Richardson and his predecessor, Adm. Jonathan Greenert.
During his tenure, Stevens oversaw significant changes to training for senior enlisted sailors, working to do away with traditional chief petty officer initiation rites, or induction, in favor of a formal training and preparation course, and making attendance of the Senior Enlisted Academy a requirement for promotion to master chief.
More recently, he helped inform the Navy's new tattoo policy, released this year, with the most lenient rules of any military service.
"Every dog, or should I say, every MCPON, has their day," Stevens joked, as he discussed wrapping up his 33-year Navy career. "And I think my day is about to come."