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Navy’s first Samoan CMC honored with prestigious leadership award

Command Master Chief Josephine Tauoa,
Source: U.S. Indo-Pacific Command press release

Washington, D.C. — American Samoa’s Josephine Tauoa has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Delbert D. Black Leadership Award, July 6. She is the Command Master Chief of USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), a guided-missile destroyer.

Tauoa was selected from a field of five outstanding finalists representing the finest first-tour Command Master Chiefs and Command Senior Chiefs across the Navy.

The USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), is homeported out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Tauoa assumed her duties in April 2020, after she was selected to be the Navy’s first female Samoan Command Master Chief. According to her commanding officer, Tauoa epitomizes what it means to be a deckplate leader who serves as the backbone of the command.

With her inspirational leadership, she kept the crew focused on operational excellence as they earned the unit tactics award after successfully completing an 18-month sustainment phase, Pacific Dragon 2020, and Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020.

Each of these accomplishments is unique, because the crew met mission requirements and arose to unforeseen challenges while safely navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “This past year has been difficult for many, but this CMC demonstrated that there’s no challenge too big for our team,” said MCPON Russell Smith. “Her ability to press on and persevere set a tremendous example for her crew to follow. Congratulations to Master Chief Tauoa on her selection for this prestigious award. I’m proud to serve in her Navy!”

Tauoa was selected as this year’s recipient for her exceptional dedication, technical competence, and commitment to fostering an inclusive, professional environment which uplifts all Sailors under her charge.

“She is the heartbeat of Chung-Hoon, a trusted advisor and advocate up and down the chain of command,” said Fleet Master Chief James Honea, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “Her humility, grit, and actions on behalf of all Sailors sets the tone for all to follow. Her ethos creates an environment that all Sailors thrive and succeed in.”


The Delbert D. Black Leadership Award, named for the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, honors Master Chief Gunner's Mate Delbert Black. He served in the position from January 13, 1967 until his retirement on April 1, 1971.

The Chung-Hoon is named in honor of Navy Cross and Silver Star recipient Rear Admiral Gordon Pai’ea Chung-Hoon and the crew of the WWII destroyer USS Sigsbee (DD-502).