Morganfield Native Selected as Navy’s First to Serve in Top Military Post

VIRGINA BEACH, Va. – Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s Force Master Chief James Herdel, a Morganfield, Kentucky, native, was selected to serve in the top enlisted spot at U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) in Tampa, Florida.

Herdel’s selection marks the first time a member of the U.S. Navy will serve as USCENTCOM’s senior enlisted leader.

“I’m very humbled by this selection,” Herdel said. “I’ve been fortunate in my career to have had tremendous opportunities to work with outstanding individuals from all branches of our military. These men and women have shaped me, and provided me with leadership and service experiences that I’m honored to bring into my new position.”

Herdel, a master chief explosive ordnance disposal technician, joined the Navy in 1989. Throughout his career, he has completed numerous deployments in support of joint operations around the globe. He is a qualified master explosive ordnance disposal technician and free-fall naval parachutist.

Herdel’s responsibilities will include providing a positive influence on the readiness, welfare and morale of the sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians and families of USCENTCOM.

“This is a welcome challenge,” Herdel said. “It’s truly an honor and I look forward to becoming part of the USCENTCOM team.”

USCENTCOM is a geographic combatant command with its area of responsibility including 20 nations in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the strategic waterways that surround them.

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