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Past Command Master Chief, USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108)

05 June 2020
Command Master Chief Gary A. Byrum
Command Master Chief Gary A. Byrum
Command Master Chief Gary A. Byrum
Command Master Chief Gary A. Byrum
Command Master Chief Gary A. Byrum
Photo By: CNSP
VIRIN: 210121-N-N0831-0006
Command Master Chief Gary A. Byrum, a native of Maryland, enlisted in the United States Navy in April, 2000.  Upon completion of boot camp from Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes, IL.  Master Chief Byrum attended Hospital Corpsman (HM) “A” School and was assigned to his first tour of duty at Naval Hospital 29 Palms, CA. where he was advanced to Petty Officer 3rd Class.  Upon completion of his tour he attended Field Medical Service School (FMSS) at Camp Pendleton, CA, and received follow on orders to Naval Hospital Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico.

Master Chief Byrum was then assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), New River, NC. During his tour he was assigned to Medium Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMM-365) where he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. There he qualified as a Fleet Marine Force Specialist (FMF), Naval Air crewman (NAC), and Combat Air crewman (CAC). Upon return he was awarded the Air Medal, advanced to 2nd Class Petty Officer, and assigned as the squadron Leading Petty Officer.  He was then selected to attend Navy Deep Sea Diving Medical Technical “C” school in Panama City, FL, where he graduated with honors in 2006.

After completion of dive school, Master Chief Byrum was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two (EODMU-2), Little Creek, VA. Shortly after reporting he attended The U.S. Army Airborne School, in Ft Benning, GA and was awarded the Army’s Basic Parachutist Badge. Returning to his parent command he qualified as a Naval Parachutist (PJ) and received his U.S Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist badge. During his tour he deployed in supporting Commander Task Group (CTG) 56.1 conducting mine countermeasures, salvage-diving, and force protection, and anti-terrorism operations throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. There he qualified as an Expeditionary Warfare Specialist (EXW) and Diving Salvage Warfare Specialist (DSW), received his Associates Degree, and was promoted through the Command Advancement Program (CAP) to 1st Class Petty Officer.
Master Chief Byrum was then selected to attend Independent Duty Corpsman School at the Surface Warfare Medical Institute (SWIMI) in San Diego, CA. Upon graduation, he received orders to Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technological Support Division (NAVEODTECHDIV) in Indian Head, MD where he was promoted to Chief Hospital Corpsman.

In July 2014 Master Chief Byrum was assigned to instructor duty at HM “A” school Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC), Fort Sam Houston, TX where he held the positions of LCPO, Basic Medical Technician and Corpsman Program (BMTCP), and Senior Enlisted Leader of “C” School Programs.  During his tenure, he qualified as a Master Training Specialist and was selected to Senior Chief Petty Officer.
Master Chief Byrum was assigned as the Senior Enlisted Medical Advisor for Naval Special Warfare Group Three Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), HI in July 2017.  Midway through his tour, he also served as the Garrison Command Master

Chief and was promoted to Master Chief Hospital Corpsman. While there he screened and was selected into the Command Master Chief Program.

In May 2020, Master Chief Byrum transferred to USS Wayne E Meyer (DDG 108) Pearl Harbor, HI as the Command Master Chief.

Master Chief Byrum is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 217-gray) and CMC/COB course (Class 20070). He is qualified as a Diving Warfare Specialist, Expeditionary Warfare Specialist, Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist, Combat Aircrewman and Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist. His personal awards include the Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards) and numerous campaign medals and ribbons. Master Chief Byrum earned his Associates of Science Degree from Coastline Community College.

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