Washington, DC - Command Master Chief Chris Kotz relieved Force Master Chief C.J. Mitchell as force master chief of the Navy Reserve, during a change of appointment and retirement ceremony at the Navy Memorial, Friday.
Chief of Navy Reserve (CNR) Vice Adm. Luke McCollum presided over the event, installing Kotz as the 16th senior enlisted leader of the reserve force.
"I'm honored to say for the first time, welcome aboard Force Kotz," said McCollum during the ceremony. "You not only have big shoes to fill; 15 [had] a big personality as well."
McCollum discussed his new action plan being developed to accelerate the impact of the Navy Reserve mission in today's competitive environment. He focused on Kotz's important role in the plan.
"No one is going to be more valuable to amplifying this call to action than the force master chief," McCollum said.
Kotz is from North Augusta, South Carolina and joined the Navy in 1991. His last assignment was as command master chief for Commander, Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North headquartered in New Orleans.
In his new position as the enlisted advisor for CNR, Kotz will become the voice of Reserve Sailors.
"Force is the embodiment of the enlisted community; the advocate for each and every Reserve Sailor across the globe," said McCollum.
At the end of the change of appointment, Mitchell finalized the transfer of responsibility by ceremonially handing Kotz the force cellphone. He stressed to Kotz the honor and privilege of supporting the more than 43,500 Reserve Sailors.
"I did not leave gas left in the tank," Mitchell said. "Being the force became my passion. Don't worry, Chris. I left plenty of work for you."
Mitchell's last four years as Force 15 marked the finale of his 28-year Navy career. His retirement ceremony began immediately following the change of appointment.
Both ceremonies and guest speakers, including McCollum and former Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun, retired, celebrated Mitchell's commitment to stewardship. They also charged Kotz to have the same focus.