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    Navy’s New MCPON Aims to Be a ‘Problem Solver’ Amid Suicides, Water Contamination

    Navy’s New MCPON Aims to Be a ‘Problem Solver’ Amid Suicides, Water Contamination

    The Navy's top enlisted sailor said he wants to be a problem solver for the fleet in his first remarks to the press since taking office in September of last year.

    Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy James Honea came out with a clear message to reporters Tuesday at the Navy's annual Surface Naval Association conference, a gathering just minutes from the Pentagon in Virginia.

    “Sailors can depend on that out of me … removing the barriers that prevent them from having a safe and secure place to and to work and execute their oath of enlistment,” Honea said.

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    “I do it because I'm passionate, and I care about our people,” he added.

    The MCPON took the top post in the wake of several incidents such as suicides among the crew of the aircraft carrier George and potable water contamination on Navy ships, which have exposed serious issues facing some of the service's most junior sailors.

    Pay and personnel actions, as well as medical care, are also top concerns for sailors, according to the MCPON.

    Honea, who has been in the Navy for 35 years and started his career as a boatswain's mate, comes across in person as a cheerleader for the service members he represents.

    “The men and women that are serving in our Navy today are just as capable and willing to defend our way of life and fight for our nation than any…

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