USS Truman’s command master chief retires following ‘strip club’ comment during VP visit

The USS Harry S. Truman (Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding)
The USS Harry S. Truman (Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding)

NORFOLK — The USS Harry S. Truman’s command master chief was asked to step down this week and retire following comments he made during a visit by Vice President Mike Pence.

“I want one last chance to tell the extraordinary men and women of TRUMAN how blessed and thankful I am to have served as your Command Master Chief. When you find yourself making a mistake, own it, accept responsibility and learn from it,” Master Chief Jonas Carter wrote in a Facebook post relayed by Capt. Nick Dienna, commanding officer of the USS Truman.

“Today, I want each of you to know that I have taken full responsibility of my mistake last week and together with my family, I have decided to retire,” Carter said in the post. “I thank you for being my ‘family’ where my family could not be… I thank you for looking each challenge in the eye and conquering it… I thank you for making my tour as your Command Master Chief the very best tour in my 28 year career!”

Carter apparently told sailors during Pence’s visit last Tuesday to “clap like we’re at a strip club.”

“Throughout his career, Master Chief Carter could have chosen to serve in less demanding positions, but he always strived for the path of leadership – not for himself, but for the pride he has for his Navy and the love he has for his shipmates,” Dienna said. “Onboard USS Harry S. Truman, we measure ourselves by the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity.

RELATED STORY: VP Pence: USS Truman will not be retired

I commend Master Chief Carter for having the forthrightness and the courage to uphold this ethos by taking responsibility and holding himself accountable for his comments. I sincerely thank him for his years of devoted service to our Navy and to the men and women of Truman, and I wish him the best.”

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.