Delbert Black

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Delbert D. Black
1st Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Born(1922-07-11)11 July 1922
Orr, Oklahoma, US
Died5 March 2000(2000-03-05) (aged 77)
Winter Park, Florida, US
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1941–1971
RankMCPON Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Commands heldMaster Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsNavy Distinguished Service Medal

Delbert D. Black (11 July 1922 – 5 March 2000) was a senior sailor in the United States Navy who served as the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy from 13 January 1967 to 1 April 1971.

Early life and family[edit]

Black was born in Orr, Oklahoma, graduating from high school in 1940. He enlisted in the United States Navy on 14 March 1941. Delbert "Del" Black was married to Ima Black for 50 years and had a son Donny D. Black. Grandfather to Dylan and Nathan Black.

Naval career[edit]

Upon completion of recruit training in San Diego, Black was assigned to the USS Maryland (BB-46) and was aboard during the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. He later served at Receiving Station, Pearl Harbor; USS Doyle C. Barnes (DE-353); Naval Air Base Samar, Philippines; USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), USS Boxer (CVA-21); USS Antietam (CVA-36); U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, Washington, D.C.; Yokosuka, Japan ship repair facilities; USS Brush (DD-745); USS Carpenter (DDE-825); USS Norfolk (DL-1); Recruiting Duty, Columbia, Tennessee; USS Springfield (CL-66); USS Independence (CV-62); and Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center (FAAWTC), Dam Neck, Virginia. During his career, he advanced from striking for the rate of Gunner's Mate to the rank of Master Chief.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy[edit]

On 13 January 1967, the Secretary of the Navy announced the appointment of Master Chief Gunner's Mate (GMCM) Black as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor, the position that would evolve into Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. As such, he was the highest rated enlisted man in the United States Navy, serving as the enlisted representative to the Chief of Naval Operations. His function was to counsel the highest ranks of the Navy on issues associated with enlisted guidance, leadership, and policy. Black was the first enlisted man to write a foreword for The Bluejacket's Manual.

Retirement and later work[edit]

The twelfth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick D. West lays a single red rose at the gravesite of the first MCPON Delbert Black at Arlington National Cemetery.

Upon retirement from active duty, Black continued his involvement with the Navy through retired and active duty organizations. He was an active member of the USO Council of Central Florida; the Fleet Reserve Association; and Co-Chairman on the Secretary of Navy Committee on Retired Personnel. He died at his home in Winter Park, Florida from a heart attack at the age of 77. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 11, Site 496 LH.

At a 13 March 2015 ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Michael D. Stevens announced that an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Delbert D. Black, would honor Delbert Black.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Navy Distinguished Service Medal (Master Chief Black was the first Navy enlisted man to receive this award.)
Navy Unit Commendation
Silver star
Bronze star
Navy Good Conduct Medal (with 6 service stars)
China Service Medal
Bronze star
American Defense Service Medal (with 1 campaign star)
American Campaign Medal
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with 8 campaign stars)
World War II Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with 1 service star)
Korean Service Medal
Antarctica Service Medal
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with service star
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Bronze star
Bronze star
Philippine Liberation Medal (with 2 service stars)
United Nations Korea Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Korean War Service Medal


External links[edit]

Military offices
New title Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
13 January 1967 – 1 April 1971
Succeeded by