On 26 September 2020, 1000EST, the Navy will commission an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer named for our first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, the USS DELBERT D BLACK (DDG 119) in Port Canaveral, Florida. This is the first warship to honor a Sailor for their specific contributions as a Senior Enlisted Leader, and represents a significant milestone that recognizes both the responsibility of the position of MCPON to the Navy, and the tremendous accountability to those enlisted Sailors in our charge.
The commissioning will be attended by his widow, Mrs. Ima Black, the beloved matriarch of our world-wide CPO Mess. Ima, 99 years young, is known as the “first lady of the Navy’s Chiefs Mess,” and has dedicated her life to our Sailors and their families. She’s an amazing person and an incredible ambassador to our heritage who not only supported her husband for 50 years, but served as a Navy Storekeeper in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES). A wonderful idea has been posted on social media by FLTCM(Ret) Suz Whitman to show our gratitude for Ima’s commitment to our Navy. “Let her know we are there with her” by sending her a card at:
It would be an honor and privilege to have you join us for this special occasion as we commemorate the pinnacle of enlisted leadership in this most noble way. Due to the ongoing pandemic, in-person attendance to the Ceremony is limited and by invitation only, however, we may all show our support and remain “Anchored In Arms” by “virtually” attending the commissioning ceremony using the following link: https://allhands.navy.mil/Live-Stream (site will be available at 0950 EST)