Keeper of the Cane
October 12, 2009
Navy News|by MC1 Michelle Lucht
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A retirement ceremony was held at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek to bid farewell to the Navy's last master chief boiler technician.
In June 1979 in Eastwood, Ky., a young, 17-year-old boy decided to enlist in the Navy. Thirty years later the Navy bids farewell and following seas to Force Master Chief Jerry Haueter.
In attendance was Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West as the guest speaker, Haueter's wife Cindi, daughter Tiffany, granddaughter Tegan, as well as almost 300 guests, including 40 family members who traveled from Kentucky to attend Haueter's retirement.
"I am a very blessed man to have been a part of this organization, and for the support and understanding that I have received from my family during my career," said Haueter.
From the start of Haueter's career he was committed to the Navy, doing the best job he could and giving back to the organization.
"He just never stopped working, never stopped thinking about ways to make this Navy even better than it is," said West. "He never stopped caring about his Sailors. He didn't know how to turn that part of his life off and that's what made him one of the best master chiefs of our generation."
Right before becoming Force master chief for Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Haueter was 30 days away from starting his terminal leave for retirement. His family and respected friends encouraged him to apply for the position of Force master chief.
"So at the urging of my wife and my admiral I threw my name in the hat," said Haueter. "Low and behold I was selected."
From the beginning of his career Haueter knew he wanted to complete at least 20 years. That changed the longer he was in the Navy.
"The Navy was never a job for Jerry and it was more than a career, it was a vocation, a calling," said West. "He's had the Navy in his soul, and you know it's never going to leave."
As he reflects on his time in the Navy, Haueter's advice for Sailors is simple: work hard and don't be afraid to make mistakes.
"I'd like to think that leadership would let Sailors make some mistakes along the way. I learned more from the mistakes I made in my career than I have in any school I ever went to," said Haueter. "But, if you show up on time, work and try hard, chances are you are going to be successful in this organization."
That advice has served Haueter well for 30 years.
USS Liberty, Never Forget.
I believe in Murrays Law, he thought Murphy was an optimist.
It was a long time coming but it was also in the cards that Boilers go the way of Sails. There'll be no more Firesides cleaning, Safety setting or short tube punching. The best has gone with the worst in your career. I too accepted this world of 1200psi thundering noise, heat, sweat and long hours. 1989 was my date of departure from snipeland. I can only impart this from what I've learned since retiring. "It's not the way it was that matters, it's the way you remember it." I believe yours will also be fond memories.Fair winds, following seas and no Black smoke from the forward stack. AF BTCM(sw), USN, ret.
There are still 'boiler' power plants on some Navy ships.
The first ones that came to mind are the LHD's 1 thru 7.
All this time I thought all of us dinosaurs had been long gone from the US Navy. There is a life after the pit Master Chief. Enjoy your liberty.
Great career, and great service from an outstanding Sailor. Many thanks BTCM Hauter. May the fire's forever burn in your heart, and the steam run through your veins fellow snipe.
Technically he is not the last BT in the Navy.
600 PSI V2M D-Type's to be exact (they operate at a higher pressure, One ship higher than all others). Good old Combustion Engineering .
I remember our company comander in boot camp was a boiler tech. Hard nosed s.o.b. he was. Taught me a lot though.
What does BTCM Stand for
Military Spouses Forum
Master Chief Boiler Technician
|Powered by Social Strata|