Change in Charge
Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi recently welcomed Command Master Chief Michael D. Wilkins as its top enlisted leader, relieving previous Command Master Chief Carlton Duncan.
“The reception has been fabulous,” said Wilkins. “From the most junior Sailor I’ve met, all the way through to the commanding officer, it has just been a warm family type welcome.” Wilkins is no stranger to the area though, having previously served as Command Master Chief of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115, which is attached to NAF Atsugi as part of Carrier Air Wing FIVE.
“The main difference is I go from being somebody who draws from the services provided by the base to being in a position where I provide the services to others,” he said.
During his tour here Wilkins wants to ensure that NAF Atsugi maintains its high standards of excellence in customer service to the airwing, tenant commands and the base community.
“I have a different perspective now. I have seen it from both sides of the spectrum,” said Wilkins. “I believe that is going to help me out because I was a ‘consumer’ and I knew what I needed. That perspective gives me an opportunity to access things and then to provide those services better than they already are.”
During his 24 year career the Navy has seen many changes, from an all male crews to the integration of females on combat ships, two Iraq wars and the revolution of training as a participant.
Wilkins said changes and marked points of naval history have broadened his experience and personal reflection.
“There are just so many changes to describe,” said Wilkins. “A change I would like to see is an increase in respect for one another. I would like people to see a person and see them as a Sailor and a person and not as a target.”
While these changes continue to slowly evolve and form life in the Navy, Wilkins is focusing on his new charge as command master chief and using his experience to enable and strengthen NAF Atsugi Sailors.
“The one thing I want Sailors to know about me is that I care and am committed to helping them succeed and achieve their goals while they are here,” said Wilkins.
“Do your job to the best of your ability, always give it everything you’ve got and you will be successful.”