Command Master Chief of USS Harry S. Truman retires after ‘strip club’ comment

Virginia News

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Command Master Chief of the USS Harry S. Truman has retired from the Navy days after comments made before Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier. 

Master Chief Jonas Carter, a 28-year veteran, told sailors last Tuesday to “clap like we’re at a strip club” for the VP’s arrival, a comment some found humorous, but the Navy deemed “inappropriate.” 

“When you find yourself making a mistake, own it, accept responsibility and learn from it,” Carter wrote in a message relayed through Captain Nick Dienna, the Truman’s Commanding Officer. “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.”

Dienna praised Carter for his leadership, including his willingness to put his shipmates before himself, and his impact on countless sailors. 

“Whether it was a complex shipboard evolution, or a check-in with a new Sailor, Master Chief Carter took every tasking on with a fervent heart, a broad smile and a true sense of purpose,” Dienna wrote on the ship’s Facebook page. “He left no doubt as to what kind leader he is, or the kind of leader he wanted us all to be.”

Dienna ultimately circled around to the circumstances surrounding Carter’s decision. 

“Onboard USS Harry S. Truman, we measure ourselves by the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity. 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.”

The Navy has yet to announce who will step up to Carter’s position as Command Master Chief aboard the ship. 

This story will be updated. 

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