Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

7th Fleet top sailor is a Pinoy

US navy Master Chief Marcos Sibal stood proudly before the crowd that watched the US Navy’s 7th Fleet Band during their concert last Sunday at SM North EDSA. When he addressed the audience in Filipino, the crowd roared in approval.

Angeles City-born Sibal is no ordinary sailor in the US navy. He is the top sailor in the Western Pacific area, being the US 7th Fleet’s master chief.

Sibal, the first Filipino to hold such a position, said in an interview following the concert attended by US Ambassador Kristie Kenney that his present position is equivalent to a sergeant major in the army.

“I am the eyes and ears of the admiral in matters concerning morale and welfare of all enlisted personnel in the 7th Fleet,” he said.

As the command’s master chief since July 2007, Sibal is in charge of all issues and concerns of some 27,000 US Navy sailors at any given time.

Despite his position, this father of two has remained humble, saying that he never lets his present stature get into his head.

“I am proud that I am a Filipino, but you should not be bigger than your position. I am just like you, performing your job, especially when I have a very good boss, Admiral John Bird,” he said.

Sibal is with the USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the 7th Fleet, that just concluded its four-day port call and goodwill visit to the country. The visit was highlighted by a concert of the world-renowned 7th Fleet Band that had the audience applauding and some, such as Kenney, dancing.

According to information from the US 7th Fleet, Sibal entered the US Navy in 1983, as part of the US and RP navy recruitment program in Subic, Zambales.

He attended basic training at the Recruit Training Command in San Diego, California.

His military education includes Seaman Apprenticeship training at the Naval Training Center in San Diego in November 1983 and Electrician’s Mate’s School at Naval Technical Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, where he graduated at the top of his class in July 1987.

He graduated from the Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island in March 2002.

He has served on a variety of shipboard platforms, including tours aboard guided-missile destroyers, aircraft carriers and guided-missile cruisers, such as the USS Barney, USS Towers, USS Independence, where he qualified as a CV 62 Class Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW), USS Chancellorsville, again qualifying as an EOOW, and as Command Master Chief of the Black Knights of Strike Fighter Squadron 154 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, where he deployed and completed a world combat deployment aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

He detached there in October 2005 and reported to the commander of Fleet Activities in Sasebo, Japan, where he assumed duties as the installation Command Master Chief.

Sibal’s shore duties included Fleet Training Group Western Pacific as a steam and diesel propulsion plant engineering evaluator, Maintenance and Material Management Coordinator at US Naval Air Facility in Atsugi, Japan, along with his tour at Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan.

He is qualified to wear both the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist insignias. By James Mananghaya - PhilStar

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