On June 1, 2012, the MidCal MINIs group had the honor and privilege of sharing with Master Chief John Dunlap (Tron Chief) and his family, the celebration of his 30 years of service in the United States Navy and his retirement. In front of family, friends and his crew, Master Chief received his last piping to shore.
Master Chief Avionics Technician (Air Warfare) John Dunlap enlisted in the Navy on September 1, 1981 at age 17 in Honolulu, Hawaii and went to boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Navy Training Center, San Diego, California. After graduation from book camp he reported to Navy Advanced Technical Training Center, Millington, Tennessee, for “A” School. At Millington he became an Aviation Electronics Technician and was selected to report to his first command VA-174 “Hellrazors” stationed in Naval Air Station, Cecil Field, Florida
At sea he served with: VFA-137 ”Kestrels” as an Integrated Weapons Technician deploying onboard the USS Coral Sea (CV-43); VFA-151 ”Vigilantes” as the Aviation Electronics Leading Petty Officer deploying onboard the USS Constellation (CV-64); VFA-146 ”Blue Diamonds” as the Aviation Electronics Leading Petty Officer deploying onboard USS John C Stennis (CVN-74; VFA-151 ”Vigilantes” as the Maintenance Master Chief deploying onboard USS Lincoln (CVN-72); and VFA-94 ”Mighty Shrikes” as the Maintenance Master Chief deploying to MCAS Iwakuni Japan. While at sea, he completed one Mediterranean Sea, two UDP, and five Western Pacific and Persian Gulf Deployments in support of Desert Storm, OEF, OIF and Carrier operations.
Ashore, his tours included VA-174 “Hellrazors” as a Line Division Plane Captain detaching onboard the USS Lexington (CVANT-16) and USS America (CV-66); Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific as an A-7 and F/A-18 Special and Conventional Weapons instructor and inspector; NRD Portland Oregon as the Recruiter in Charge for the Naval Recruiting Station Albany, Oregon; and VFA-122 “Flying Eagle’s” as the AV/ARM Branch Chief and the Maintenance Control Senior Chief.
In April 2010, John reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 “Mighty Shrikes” located in Lemoore, California as the Maintenance Master Chief. The Maintenance Master Chief is the Maintenance Department senior enlisted Sailor, and as such he advised the Maintenance Material Control Officer and Maintenance Officer on long-range planning to ensure assets are available for assigned tasks.
Master Chief Dunlap, throughout his career has been supported by his wife of 27 years Suzie and his three daughters, Michelle, Kathleen and Samantha (who just celebrated her High School Graduation). John also celebrated in May, the achievement of obtaining his MBA from Trident University in Conflict Negotiating Management.
Master Chief Dunlap’s personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, nine Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, nine Good Conduct awards and various other unit and campaign awards.
At the conclusion of the Ceremony Master Chief and his family were saluted with a reading of the Watch and being “piped off the ship”, one last time.
While some of us were in our bunks at night, this sailor stood the watch
While some of us were in school learning our trade, this shipmate stood the watch
Yes…even before some of us were born into this world, this shipmate stood the watch
In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen brewing on the horizon of history, this shipmate stood the watch
Many times he would cast an eye ashore and see his family standing there, needing his guidance and help, needing that hand to hold during those hard times, but he still stood the watch
Today we are here to say: “Shipmate…the watch stands relieved. Relieved by those YOU have trained, guided, and lead. Master Chief Dunlap, you stand relieved…we have the watch!”
“Boatswain…Standby to pipe the side…Shipmate’s going Ashore!” *
Fair Winds and Following Seas Master Chief
Congratulations Master Chief and family as you embark upon this new stage in your lives. Thank you for allowing your MidCal Family to be a part of this truly remarkable and special event.
* –William Whiting, 1860