Most career Sailors have a long list of places they've been while in the Navy. Command Master Chief William Lloyd-Owen had already traveled the world before he enlisted. Born in San Francisco to British parents, he and his family moved to Australia in 1970 to be near his parents' siblings, who had settled there when the British left Hong Kong and Singapore after World War II. In 1984, the family returned to the U.S., and Lloyd-Owen enlisted in the Navy.
"Australia is as close as you can get to America, but there still are not the opportunities America has," Lloyd-Owen said.
After completing F-14 Power Plants and Related Systems "A" School, Lloyd-Owen's first duty assignment was at Strike Aircraft Test Directorate, Patuxent River, where he served until 1989.
"I'm excited to be back to where the future of naval aviation starts," said Lloyd-Owen, who took over as NAS Patuxent River's 21st Command Master Chief in April. "And I'm happy to see all the changes since I left in '89."
Lloyd-Owen had returned to Pax River for occasional meetings over the past decade, "so I kind of watched Pax grow from afar," he said of the 27 years he has spent in the Navy. Not that any of it has been time on the sidelines.
Lloyd-Owen's career thus far has mostly been "at the tip of the spear," aboard aircraft carriers, most recently the USS Nimitz.
"Now I'm in a supportive role-it's a new role but something I look forward to. There's a lot going on here (at Pax). It's just different," said Lloyd-Owen. "I will miss being underway. I didn't like being away from home for seven months at a time, but I like being underway. Especially at night, on an aircraft carrierit's just something to behold. Such is the conundrum of a Sailortorn between two mistresses."
Though proud of his airedale background, Lloyd-Owen describes himself as "a Sailor, first and foremost. Sailors are rate-orientated. It's a very technical service. But we are the most powerful Navy the world has ever seen, and our strength is our Sailors."
With that in mind, Lloyd-Owen sees his role as CMC to be one in which he serves as "every Sailor's advocate. I'm about leading Sailors, taking care of their families. If they take care of themselves, and take care of their families, they can focus on the mission. I want them to use the chain of command, and if it hasn't been resolved at that point, I want them to come to me," Lloyd-Owen said. "From Seaman Recruit to Admiral, if my car's out front, I'm here, and my door's open; I'm open for business. They can come talk to me whenever they want."
Lloyd-Owen's command philosophy is based on his conviction that "Sailors will do Herculean things, if we set the expectations," he said. "So, our job is to set them, ensure they understand them, hold the Sailors accountable to them, and exemplify them as a leader. I don't have a 'zero defect ' mentality. Good Sailors make bad decisions. But in today's military climate, it's harder to recover than it was back in the day."
During his first month as NAS Patuxent River's Command Master Chief, Lloyd-Owen has focused on getting to know the various tenant commands.
"CMC Cummings left a pretty good legacy. I'm not here to change anything," he said. "I'll be building on the pillars CMC Cummings left as his legacy."