Master Chief Petty Officer Steven W. Cantrell assumed the duties of the master chief petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard during a change-of-watch ceremony Thursday morning at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.
During the ceremony, overseen by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., Cantrell relieved Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt to become the 12th MCPOCG.
At the conclusion of the change-of-watch ceremony, Leavitt, who assumed duties as the 11th MCPOCG on May 21, 2010, retired after over 32 years of Coast Guard service. He plans to relocate with his family to his home state of Idaho.
“I was able to accomplish far more than I thought was possible, and I give credit to those great Coast Guardsmen past and present who have led and continue to lead with strong conviction, who coached and guided me and others in learning our craft,” said Leavitt. “That’s our history, our heritage and our tradition.”
“Today, I can tell you that our future is bright. Throughout my 32 years, I have never seen such dedicated, motivated, and highly dedicated men and women.”
Cantrell is reporting from his previous assignment as command master chief of Coast Guard Atlantic Area.
“To the men and women of the world’s best Coast Guard — I am proud to wear the same uniform as all of you,” said Cantrell. “And, I am honored to be afforded the opportunity to be your voice.”
“To Master Chief Leavitt, I would like to say thank you. Thank you, both Mike and Deb, for your years of service and sacrifice. I wish you and your family fair winds and calm seas in the next chapter of your lives.”
Press Release, May 23, 2014; Image: USCG