MCPON calls it quits: Sudden retirement comes amid ongoing investigation

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SG/IW) Steven S. Giordano resigned June 21 as the 14th MCPON. (MC2 Andrew Murray/Navy) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SG/IW) Steven Giordano resigned Thursday as the Navy’s 14th senior enlisted leader, leaving the top job vacant for the first time since it was created more than 50 years ago.

Giordano’s announcement was posted on the Navy’s Facebook page, but gave no official date for the retirement.

“I have accepted Master Chief Giordano’s offer to step aside as the MCPON effective immediately. I appreciate his recognition that the situation had become untenable,” Richardson’s message said.

“Now we need to move forward — together — as a Navy striving with all our energy to become a more lethal fighting force…America expects no less.”

“I have informed the Chief of Naval Operations that I intend to step aside and submit my retirement request, in order to allow the CNO, our CPO Mess, and our sailors to continue to move forward with the initiatives we have begun.”

Giordano made no specific mention of the allegations against him in the message and it’s unclear what the status of the investigation is. Also unclear is whether Giordano could face any disciplinary measures from the Navy if the investigation finds any wrong doing.

Navy officials have made no announcements about the investigation or the status of the MCPON’s office, which has not been empty, ever, since it was created in 1967.

The office of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson did not immediately respond to questions from Navy Times about the status of the investigation or whether Richardson will appoint an interim MCPON while a successor is found.

Giordano’s retirement from office comes just one year, nine months and 19 days since he took over from MCPON (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, making him the shortest serving MCPON in history, with a total of just 658 days in “the seat,” as MCPONs refer to the job.

His total is 198 days fewer than MCPON (SW/FMF) Joe Campa, who served for just over two years and four months.

Campa also retired from office in 2008, stating he’d accomplished what he set out to do. Campa’s unexpected decision to retire caught many by surprise and it was later revealed he was also battling an undisclosed medical condition at the time.

Giordano’s term has been rocky, as the career cryptologist took office while surrounded by revelations of past fraternization and adultery while he was an E-6. But Giordano owned up to his misconduct and said he learned from it.

And it was the fact he didn’t come into the job with any agenda that became a problem. Giordano set out on an aggressive travel schedule during his first months in office. He would later tell Navy Times that he was in a “listen and learn” mode and that those conversations would fuel the development of an agenda that would be released.Such a comprehensive to-do list never materialized, though, resulting in constant urging from his staff that he needed to engage the enlisted force […]

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