My fellow Chiefs,

I wanted to share with you this picture as well as a short synopsis of how it came about.

AO1 David Eberhart (pictured) is terminally ill with cancer. I was his Chief for his first tour on the USS INDEPENDENCE and even then his goal in the Navy was to be a Chief Petty Officer. His career, though very successful, has been interrupted with cancer treatment, periods of remission and finally with the news of being terminal.

He is currently assigned to MALS-24 at Kbay. A few months ago he requested to see the MCPON. MCPON Campa happened to be on the island visiting and went to the hospital to see AO1. It was explained to him [MCPON] how badly AO1 wanted to be a Chief and that he even took the Chief's exam from the hospital during a three day period -- he didn't have the strength for more than an hour at a time. On his good days he would put on his uniform and make his way to work though the time there took a severe toll on him physically.

He did not make board as he was six-points shy. It was requested by PACFLT Chiefs that AO1 be made an Honorary Chief Petty Officer. We talked about it in Newport and MCPON was in concurrence. The intent was for MCPON himself to make the presentation.

News came this week that AO1 may not make it through the weekend as his health is rapidly declining. FLTCM Tom Howard along with a ton of Chiefs (including CMDCM Don Krampert from CPRW-2) from the area banded together to make this happen as quickly as possible. On Thursday, AO1 David Eberhart was designated an Honorary Chief Petty Officer.

I personally called and talked to Chief David Eberhart following his promotion Thursday and the excitement in his voice came with a strength and commitment that cannot be explained in words. He remembered well our time on the INDY but his short term memory is fading quickly.

Chief Eberhart's terminal prognosis remains listed in days. He is married with two children.

I tell you this story to remind you of the importance placed on us as Chief Petty Officers and the so many Sailors in our great Navy who look up to us and have the unwavering determination to be just like us. We have the responsibility to live up to that, to be the example, to walk the walk and talk the talk. It is truly an honor to be a United States Navy Chief Petty Officer and I am honored to call each of you - and Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer David Eberhart -- shipmates.

Thank you for all you do.

V/r Aaron

Aaron A. Shipley
Sailor and Command Master Chief
Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance GROUP


Date of Birth: 19 APR 1973
Date of Death: 07 JUN 2008, Tripler Army Medical Center
ADSD: 03 AUG 1993

Career History:
Pinned Honorary CPO on 15 MAY 2008
MALS-24/AIMD Kaneohe Bay - 10 AUG 2006 to 07 JUN 2008
NAVSTA Pearl Harbor 24 MAY 2006 to 10 AUG 2006
CV-63 USS Kitty Hawk 01 DEC 2003 to 24 May 2006
NANAVMEDCEN 08 NOV 2002 TO 17 NOV 2003
CV-63 USS Kitty Hawk 29 OCT 2001 to 27 SEP 2002
CV-62 USS Independence + DECOM 21 MAR 1994 to 01 AUG 1998

David R. Eberhart Jr. enlisted in the Navy on 3 August 1993 in Philadelphia. He entered the Navy at the paygrade of E3, due to his four years of participation in his High School Navy ROTC Program. He successfully completed Recruit Training on 6 October 1993 at RTC San Diego, CA and AO “A” School on 25 February 1994 at NATTC Millington, TN.

He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2002, at which time he transferred to the National Naval Medical Center for treatment. After one year of successful treatment, he returned to full duty and was re-assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk, forward deployed in Japan.

During a subsequent annual check up in 2006, he learned that his cancer had returned and was reassigned to TPU Hawaii and eventually MALS-24 for permanent duty. His treatment options were completed exhausted at the end of 2007.

He resided in Doris Miller Navy Housing in Pearl Harbor with his wife and children, unless under treatment by the dedicated and professional staff at Tripler Army Medical Center. At Tripler Army Medical Center on 15 MAY 2008, with his wife, sons, mother and the MALS-24 CPO Mess, Petty Officer First Class Eberhart was Pinned “Honorary” Chief Petty Officer by Fleet Force Master Chief Howard and CPRW2 Master Chief Krampart, by direction of MCPON Joe Campa. This fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a Chief Petty Officer during his Navy Career.

Honorary AOC Eberhart was a highly motivated Sailor, exemplary leader, manager, mentor, and was at the top of the Naval Aviation Ordnance Field. His extraordinary positive attitude, ardent self-pride and steadfast determination to overcome and succeed in the most challenging assignments set the example for all enlisted and officers to follow. His presence will be missed by the Sailors and Marines of MALS-24, and throughout the fleet by those shipmates he served with.