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Leadership

Master Chief Neil R. Ford

Force Master Chief, Submarine Force Atlantic

01 August 2022 Force Master Chief Neil R. Ford, a native of Templeton, Massachusetts, enlisted in the United States Navy through the delayed entry program in July 1991, and he reported to Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida, in May 1992. Following completion of basic training, he completed Quartermaster “A” School.

In August 1992, Ford reported to Basic Enlisted Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut. Upon completion, he reported to PCU Santa Fe (SSN 763) in October 1992. While assigned to Santa Fe, he completed the ship’s inter-fleet transfer to Pearl Harbor and maiden Western Pacific Deployment. In August 1997, he transferred to his first shore tour, Naval Submarine School, Groton.

Ford returned to sea duty in September 1999 aboard the USS Parche (SSN 683), where he completed three Missions. He transferred to USS West Virginia (SSBN 736) Gold in August 2002 and completed five deterrent patrols.

Ford was selected to chief petty officer in 2003. In August 2005, he reported to the USS Alexandria (SSN 757) where he completed a 5th Fleet deployment.

In December 2006, he transferred to Naval Submarine Support Center in Kings Bay, Georgia and served as the operations supervisor.

In September 2009, he reported to USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) Gold where he was advanced to senior chief and completed five deterrent patrols. He transferred to Commander Submarine Squadron 20 in December 2012.

Ford attended the Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 191/Khaki) in 2015, qualified Chief of the Boat and was advanced to Master Chief. 

December 2015, Ford served as Chief of the Boat aboard USS Maryland (SSBN 738) Blue. During his tour, Maryland completed a 38-month Engineering Refueling Overhaul (ERO), conducted Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASO) and one nuclear-deterrent patrol.

Ford transferred to USS Florida (SSGN 728) Blue as the Chief of the Boat in May of 2017. During his tour on Florida, the ship completed its 22-month CNO availability and four deployments. During this time, Florida became the first East Coast SSGN to deploy with enlisted women and earned two consecutive COMSUBRON 16 Battle Efficiency and Retention Excellence Awards.

Ford was selected into the Command Master Chief (CMC) program in 2018. He served as CMC of Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and most recently, Commander, Submarine Group Eight, in Naples, Italy.

His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards) and various unit and campaign awards.

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