Title: Rating badges, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Delbert Black
Accession #: NHHC 2012-58-4, 2013.076.003, 1973-386-CX, 1973-386-DV
Size: 3.25 x 7.25
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
Collection of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) rating badges owned by the first MCPON, Delbert Black. The rating badge consists of a perched eagle atop a rocker and three inverted chevrons. There are two crossed cannons between the rocker and the chevrons. Above the eagle are three stars. Each of the badges on this page were worn with a different uniform. The silver, gold, and white at top was worn on the dinner dress white jacket. The dark blue on white was worn on the dress white coat. The silver, gold, and black was worn on the dress blue coat. The silver, black, and tan was worn on the service dress khaki coat.
As the first MCPON, there was no established insignia to identify his rank. Like the cap insignia on his combination cap, Black altered his previous Chief Gunner’s Mate sleeve insignia by adding a third star above the eagle to create an insignia identifying the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy as the senior enlisted rank in the US Navy.
In 1971, the individual rating specialty marks for the MCPON was replaced by an inverted star.