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.
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