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    FORCM Twiford, Former Crew Member, Returns To Old Ironsides



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class GrantG Grady 

    USS Constitution

    BOSTON – Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) Force Master Chief David Twiford visited USS Constitution to interact with the crew, July 8.

    This is Twiford’s first visit to USS Constitution, where he served as command senior chief from 2009 to 2011, since reporting to NAVIFOR.

    “We are part of this ship for our entire life,” said Twiford. “I will have a connection to the ship until the day I die.”

    That connection began in 2009 when Twiford assumed his first role in command level leadership as the senior enlisted advisor aboard Constitution.

    “Our team attacked how we ran the command,” said Twiford. “ We had to remind people that the ship is a historical vessel, but the command is the Sailors.”

    Twiford used his position as the command’s enlisted leader to showcase the crew’s efforts.

    “You cannot support this historic vessel, if the crew is not doing everything they do off the ship,” said Twiford. “We are a ship, like any other ship, but we are just a bit older. The crew deserves recognition.”

    Under Twiford’s Sailor-first leadership, Constitution received her first Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) in 16 years and fourth overall in her 223-year history.

    “I think the prior crews would have earned awards if they had been inspected,” said Twiford. “We [had the initiative] to bring in people to inspect our different programs. We were just the ones who started getting recognized for the crew’s hard work.”
    Today’s crew continued the standards set by Twiford receiving the ship’s fifth Navy MUC in 2020 for the crew's record breaking guests numbers in 2019 and coronavirus pandemic response in 2020.

    “I loved that you got creative with your virtual programs,” said Twiford. “Without the public being able to come aboard the ship, that meant a lot. You are still getting a great outreach to people about what you do, which in the long run may actually bring more people to the ship in the future.”

    While Twiford helped lay the foundations for the most recent Navy MUC, he played a direct role in choosing part of the crew as command master chief of Recruit Training Command Great Lakes from 2017 to 2020.

    “During the pandemic, as CMC at RTC Great Lakes, I was able to screen new Sailors from boot camp for Constitution,” said Twiford. “Being a prior crew member I had an idea of what I was looking for. It was an honor.”

    From helping the command achieve new heights, to ensuring Constitution gains top notch Sailors from boot camp nearly 10 years after he left, Twiford demonstrated that Constitution Sailors are crew members for life.

    “Former crew members love this crew,” said Twiford. “The amount of people on the planet who can say ‘I was a crew member on this ship,’ is small,”

    USS Constitution is open for free public visitation Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    USS Constitution, is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, and played a crucial role in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, actively defending sea lanes from 1797 to 1855.

    The active-duty Sailors stationed aboard USS Constitution provide free tours and offer public visitation as they support the ship’s mission of promoting the Navy’s history and maritime heritage and raising awareness of the importance of a sustained naval presence.

    USS Constitution was undefeated in battle and destroyed or captured 33 opponents.

    The ship earned the nickname of Old Ironsides during the war of 1812 when British cannonballs were seen bouncing off the ship’s wooden hull.



    Date Taken: 07.09.2021
    Date Posted: 07.14.2021 09:51
    Story ID: 400858
    Location: BOSTON, MA, US

    Web Views: 174
    Downloads: 0