Norfolk, Va. – Retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Robert J. Walker died February 15 at the age of 87.
Many gathered to remember his life Tuesday morning at Naval Station Norfolk.
The Navy provided the following information about MCPON Walker.
Walker enlisted in 1948, and became the third MCPON Sept. 25, 1975. During his time in office, he re-organized top-tier senior enlisted into a Fleet, Force and Command Master Chief program; pushed to create the Enlisted Surface Warfare Qualification (ESWS); instilled leadership training throughout the ranks and initiated a recommendation to create a Navy Senior Enlisted Academy.
Walker’s previous assignments include Radarman “A” school in Norfolk, the destroyer USS McKean (DD 784), the destroyer escorts USS William Seiverling (DE 441) and USS Erben (DD 631), and served as the senior enlisted advisor and leading chief for combat systems training at Fleet Combat Direction Systems Training Center, Dam Neck, Virginia.
Following his retirement on Sept. 28, 1979, Walker worked three years with the Non Commissioned Officers Association, rising to the position of president. Later he was employed as manager/public relations for the Jonathon Corporation, a ship repair/electronics business in Norfolk.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years; his children, Kathy Jones, Linda Campbell, Robert Walker Jr., Matthew Rice, and Michael Walker; 12 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Walker was preceded in death by his daughter Michelle Walker Pfeffer.
The MCPON is the senior enlisted person in the Navy and serves as an advocate for more than 265,000 enlisted Sailors to the Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Naval Personnel.