Born at Holloman Air Force Base in El Paso, Texas on April 10, 1956 and growing up in Seattle, Washington and Southern California, CTRCM(SW) Christopher L. Vertin, the Naval Security Group’s ninth Force Master Chief, joined the Navy in August 1974.

After basic training in San Diego, California basic Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTR) and High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) rate training in Pensacola, Florida, CTRSA Vertin was detailed to his first duty station at NSGA Winter Harbor, Maine as an HFDF Technician.

After subsequent HFDF tours at NSGA Terceira Island, Azores and NSGA Edzell, Scotland, now CTR1 Vertin completed OUTBOARD school and joined the crew of the USS TRUXTUN (CGN-35) in May In April 1983, a two-year overhaul of TRUXTUN’s nuclear reactor allowed Petty Officer Vertin to be temporarily detailed as the first Cryptologic Technician on the staff at Fleet Training Group (FTG) San Diego, where he authored the first Signals Security (SIGSEC) and OUTBOARD Refresher Training Programs. Returning to the TRUXTUN in May 1984, he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer that September. As a result of his promotion, he was detailed in the summer of 1985 to the Canadian-U.S. Personnel Exchange Program as the Chief Petty Officer in Charge of a 12 member American contingent assigned to the 770th Communications Research Squadron, Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. In the spring of 1987, Chief Vertin was sent to the Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Staff to act as the Fleet BULLSEYE/HFDF Coordinator, where he was promoted to Senior Chief soon after his arrival.

In the summer of 1990, Senior Chief Vertin assumed duties as the Operations Department Chief at NSGA Misawa, Japan, where he played a critical role in combining four separate Service commands to create the joint Misawa Cryptologic Operations Center (MCOC). Promoted to Master Chief in the spring of 1991, he assumed duties as the first MCOC Operations Superintendent. In May 1993, Master Chief Vertin was accepted into the Navy’s Command Master Chief Program and sent to be the first Command Master Chief (CMC) of the new NSGA Rota, Spain. Following an extremely successful CMC tour, he then assumed duties as the Training Department Chief at Naval Security Group Headquarters, Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland.

In October 1997, Master Chief Vertin was selected as the ninth Force Master Chief of the Naval Security Group Command and served in this capacity until his retirement on August 5, 2000.

Upon his retirement in 2000, Chris joined the General Dynamics AIS Team in Suffolk, Virginia, supporting the U.S. Joint Forces Command, Joint Concept Development and Experimentation program where today he is the Assistant Program Manager for Command Operations.

Master Chief Vertin’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (2 awards), Navy Achievement Medal (2 awards) and the Surface Warfare Specialist pin. He and his wife Peggy have been married for over 30 years and have four children (one Navy veteran, two currently serving in the Air Force).

Happy Birthday Master Chief!

Source: Echos of Our Past/NCVA