Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Visits With U.S. Naval War College Sailors

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith spoke with the U.S. Naval War College’s enlisted Sailors, Jan. 16.
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell Smith speaks with U.S. Naval War College (NWC) Sailors in the college’s Mahan Reading Room, Jan. 16. Smith spoke with enlisted sailors about the future of the Navy and held a question and answer session. He also met with NWC leadership during the visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Jaima Fogg/released)

NEWPORT, R.I. - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell L. Smith spoke with the U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) enlisted Sailors, Jan. 16.

Smith addressed 42 Sailors during the event and discussed the growing maritime threats the Navy faces.

“The Navy has to be ready to go to sea, and do battle at sea, in a way we haven’t done since WWII,” said Smith.

He went on to emphasize the importance of damage control (DC) and a planned DC overhaul.

“The level of damage control readiness in our Navy, as we shifted our focus to a land war, has atrophied a little bit,” said Smith. “We have to get back to what we used to do very well, damage control readiness and working with our Navy and Marine Corps team to provide forces on the beach. That is something that we are working on feverishly to make sure we are ready to do.”

Smith gave Sailors the opportunity to speak with him directly. Among the topics discussed during the visit were maritime operational tempo, the expansion of naval capability, educational benefits and the importance mental health readiness.

“It’s been a valuable experience to meet with the MCPON,” said Information System Technician 2nd Class Nathan J. Villalobos of El Paso, Texas. “He provided critical information that’s necessary for enlisted Sailors. I believe his desire to listen and personally respond to us really shows his devotion to all service members.”

The oldest institution of its kind in the world, the U.S. Naval War College offers graduate education to military officers and national security professionals and is accredited to award the Master of Arts degree. The college serves roughly 600 in-residence graduate students and more than 1,000 distance-education students each year. For more news from the U.S. Naval War College, visit

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