Change of Watch: Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard

Master Chief Petty Officer Skip Bowen is relieved by Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Leavitt as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard as Admiral Thad Allen presides over the Change of Watch. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Master Chief Petty Officer Skip Bowen is relieved by Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Leavitt as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard as Admiral Thad Allen presides over the Change of Watch. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Earlier today, Admiral Thad Allen presided over the second of three change of watch ceremonies that will culminate in the Commandant Change of Command ceremony as the Coast Guard bids welcome to a new leadership team.

During today’s Change of Watch, Master Chief Michael Leavitt relieved Master Chief Skip Bowen as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard(MCPOCG). The MCPOCG is the most senior enlisted member of the Coast Guard and reports directly to the Commandant of the Coast Guard as a personal advisor and assistant in matters affecting the enlisted members of the Coast Guard, both active and reserve, and their families.

“Master Chief Leavitt has demonstrated his commitment to our core values by his outstanding performance during a 28-year Coast Guard career,” said Vice Admiral David Pekoske in an all-hands message to the men and women of the Coast Guard. “Based on his professional knowledge, commitment to the entire workforce, and dedication to the service, he will be a great addition to the Coast Guard senior leadership team.”

Upon relieving the watch, MCPO Leavitt became the eleventh MCPO-CG in Coast Guard history. MCPO Bowen had held the position since 2006.

“I thank Master Chief Bowen for his 32-years of exceptional military service to the Coast Guard and the nation,” VADM Pekoske continued in his message. “Throughout his tenure, he elevated the core values of the service to new heights in the eyes of our external stakeholders. As a leader, he epitomized the Guardian Ethos.”

The change-of-watch ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a formal custom that is designed to strengthen the respect of authority, which is vital to any military organization. The climax of the ceremony is reached when both members read their orders, face one another, salute and transfer responsibility of the command. This also provides the entire command with the knowledge that the member directed by proper authority is taking command and is an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.

Check back Monday for a post on the change of watch for the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard. And, check back next Tuesday (May 25) for the Change of Command Ceremony as Admiral Robert J. Papp becomes the 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard.

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2 Responses

  1. BMCS Jonathan Graham says:

    I was fortunate enough to attend the change of watch and retirement ceremony for Master Chief Bowen. It was a great ceremony that honored both men. I was lucky enough to serve as Master Chief Bowen’s XPO on the USCGC Point Turner in the 90’s. The Coast Guard has lost a great leader. Enjoy retirement Master Chief!

  2. The Coast Guard Compass | Meet the new leadership team says:

    Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard – A 28-year career in the Coast Guard has prepared Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michale Leavitt to execute his duties. He will serve as the most senior enlisted member of the