When MSCM Melvin Williams Sr. enlisted in the Navy in 1951, he didn’t want to be a Steward, and tried to change his rating several times with no success. Eventually, Mel Williams Sr. decided if he was going to be a Steward, he was going to be the best Steward possible. Eventually, his positive attitude and work ethic led to his assignment running the CNO Flag Mess under Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, who Williams credits with being the driving force for change (racial equality).
One of those changes in the Navy allowed Mel’s son, Melvin Williams Jr., to achieve a bit more in his career (Though some would argue that you can’t do much better than becoming a MCPO in the Navy). Mel Jr. went to the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), the Naval Academy and then embarked upon a great Navy career. VADM Mel Williams Jr. recently concluded his Navy career as Commander, SECOND Fleet.
Master Chief and Vice Admiral Williams – thank you for your service to our great Navy. You both enjoyed superb Navy careers.
In his remarks at the 2nd Fleet change of command, Admiral John Harvey (Commander, Fleet Forces Command) made a comment that I think can be applied to most who have served in our great Navy. The remark was intended for Mel Williams Sr., but I put it out there for many of you who have served in and loved the Navy:
“At times, you loved our Navy far more than our Navy loved you.”
Those who have served know what I am talking about. We love our Navy and honestly, sometimes she doesn’t love us as much as we love her. We can live with that. We are honored to have served.