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BVI native retires after 31 years in US Navy

Command Master Chief Jeffrey Pickering. Photo Credit:

By Edgar Leonard, Contributor

Command Master Chief Jeffrey Pickering has been piped ashore after 31 years of loyal, faithful, and honourable service in the United States Navy.

He is the son of Donald ‘LK’ Pickering and Jubilee Pickering of Bell Vue on the island of Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The former serviceman attended Bell Vue Primary School, BVI High School (now Elmore Stout High), as well as Charlotte Amalie High School in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands.

He graduated in the top 10 percent of his class from Charlotte Amalie High in June 1986.

After graduation, Master Chief Pickering took a few months respite, and then enlisted in the United States Navy in September 1986 – completing basic training at Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois.

Recruit training completed, he moved on to Airman Apprentice Training.

Service with distinction

Master Chief Pickering has had an awe-inspiring and storied naval career, serving in a variety of positions, providing Aviation Store Keeper support both ashore and aboard ships.

He quickly grasped the criteria for success in the Navy – reliability, punctuality, and performing all assignments well.

Through hard work and dedication, the BVI native was promoted early and quickly, racing through the enlisted ranks from Seaman Apprentice to ultimately Command Master Chief.

His promotion to Command Master Chief Petty Officer was a remarkable and particularly exceptional achievement, because less than one percent of Navy personnel achieve that rank.

It was an uncommon feat.

Recognized and rewarded

Master Chief Pickering was recognized and rewarded frequently as a consistent top performer.

His personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Navy Commendation medal (4 awards), Navy Achievement Medal (5 awards), Good Conduct Medal (8 awards), along with various campaign and service medals.

Master Chief Pickering also earned the Surface Warfare Specialist Designator, and Air Warfare Specialist Designator.

He completed the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, along with a myriad of other Navy service schools.

Outside of normal working hours, he attended college, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resource Management from Park University.

Never forgets the BVI

Master Chief Pickering is an ambassador and a true Virgin Islander. Though he travelled around the globe, he did not forget the BVI.

He maintained a keen interest in the territory’s growth and development, and was always proud to say he is from the BVI, though quite often he had to explain where the BVI is located.

Master Chief Pickering represented the BVI well.

He is a civilian again, and is poised and ready to pursue another career after a little rest and recuperation.

Master Chief, you performed a challenging and demanding job, extremely well done. Congratulations on your retirement, and thanks for your service.

To Jeff, Gail, Jared and Jasmine – along with other family members Donald and Jubilee (parents); Michael, Genevieve, Cherrie, and Barbie (siblings) – fair winds and following seas.

This is the summarized version of a tribute submitted by Edgar Leonard, a contributor to BVI News Online.

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

32 Comments

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  1. opps 2 says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Congratulations to Jeffrey. Went to school with me and so very proud.

  2. .... says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Congrats on your accomplishment…Proud!

  3. okay now says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

    Here we have a local police chief

  4. the rock says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Congrats, went to BVI High School with him also, hope he will come back home and help the BVI move forward!

  5. :) says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Awesome, awesome, awesome job! Respect and thank you!

  6. Queen B says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

    Congrats to Jeffery, son of the soil. However, don’t be so modest Ed Leonard, you are also a son of the soil an indigenous Virgin Islander like Mr. Pickering who also served in the U.S Navy for many years, I cannot remember how many, you also rose to a high rank as well. I think it’s Lieutenant corret me if I am wrong. We give you your due honors as well.

    • E. Leonard says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

      @Queen B, thanks for the shout out! I did serve in the US Navy. However, today is Master Chief Pickering’s well-deserved accolades for his superb performance and representation, making the BVI proud. Hit me up on another day and I may give a thought to blowing my own trumpet.

      • Albion says:

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

        Great reply. Today may be Master Chief Pickering’s day, but as ever you show a lot of class in putting the spotlight back on him.

      • Quiet Storm says:

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

        Quiet, exemplary humility and a class act.

  7. Wendy says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Man you set for life and still a youngster. Congrats best wishes for the next life chapter.

  8. daughter of the soil says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Congrats son of the soil..

  9. TurtleDove says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Welcome to the club my brother! Job well done proud of you!

  10. guy hill says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    great job Jeff. Be bless. Be Brave. be safe.

  11. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Master Chief Pickering superb performance and uncommon achievement. Wow! You blazed a trail for others to follow. Your success is surely a blue print that others can follow in charting their path not only in the arm forces but also in the private sector.

    Congratulations and thanks for the personal example that is worthy emulation. You have set the bar high yet it can be scaled. From humble beginnings up Belle Vue, you climbed the mountain. You deserve the highest VI award.

  12. SFC Hodge says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Thank you for your service Command Master Chief.

  13. GOSH! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Proud of you, Sir! I wish that I can influence my students in such a positive manner. God Bless You!

  14. Disinterested says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Can we get a roll call for Virgin Islanders who have served and are serving in the US and UK armforces. The results should be interesting. Bet a wooden nickel that the number serving in the US is much larger than the UK. Why? Is the proximity to the USVI the reason?

    Ok. Master Chief Pickering excelled in the US Nsvy. Making Master Chief is big deal. Enlisted grades ranged between E1-E9; Master Chief is at the E-9 level. Hollow at Master Chief for his super performance and distinguished career. Master Chief, congratulations! Thanks for your service vice. Roll call: Senior Chief Oscar Smith, Long Trench.

    • Roll Call says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Roll call: Capt. Ulric Wilkins, Narrows, Long Look; Senior Chief Oscar Smith, Long Trench; Senior Chief Joel Myers, Long Look; Chief Wilbert Malone, Major Bay, East End; Butch Romney, West End; Edgar Leonard, Cooper Island; Ottie Hyman, West End; Celia Hodge, Road Town; Dale Williams, Baughers Bay; Master Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth VanterpooLowell Fahie, Humtums Ghut; Edward Francis, Long Swamp; Olanzo Frett, Long Swamp; Command Master Chief Jeffrey Pickering, Belle Vue………etc. Sure there are many more. 👍👍👍 to all!

  15. Florencia says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Congrats my fellow country man. Thank you for your service!!

  16. Yep says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Why is it that this country only recognize its people after certain feats? This is the first time I’m hearing about him, and he spent 31 years in the Navy? Wow… How about recognition before, during and after, like most countries? How about growing with the individuals?

    • @Yep says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      @Yep, how would the BVI know that Master Chief Pickering was in the Nsvy? We (BVI) are only now realizing that he was in the Navy for over 3 decades. E. Leonard seem as if you are not looking for any recognition. But thanks for bringing this great accomplishment to the attention of the nation.At some other time, tell us your story.

  17. Black American says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Thanks for serving.

  18. Shark says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Congratulations commander and chief.

  19. @ says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    We in bad need of a Superintendent that is all I am going to say.

  20. Teacher Jubilee Son says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    Greetings everyone and thank you for the kind words. Growing up I was often referred to as Teacher Jubilee Boy…I’m Jeffrey.

    Thirty plus years goes by quickly. Promise yourself to take lots of pictures. I am very thankful for my upbringing. I am thankful for life in general.

    “It takes a village to raise a child”. The values that I learned growing up stayed with me and has been with me to many countries. Start your day with a prayer; remember to say please and thank you; and always respect your elders. Our value system is eroding! I am so glad I got some of that old time “loving”.

    I could not end this without expressing my gratitude to Mr. Edgar Leonard for this recognition. It is an honor being your friend, and thank you Sir for your Service. May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Thanks again and may our Lord continue to grant all of you Favor.

  21. proud of you says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Congratulations commander, this is awesome!!!

    • @Proud of you says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      @Proud of you, did you mean Commander or Command Master Chief. If you meant Commander, you have given Command Master Chief Pickering a huge promotion. Though it seems, as if he would also have perform a super job as Commander.

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