AL ASAD, Iraq -- After filling the billet as the senior enlisted Sailor for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) as a senior chief petty officer since February, Master Chief Petty Officer Douglas Sprague, command master chief petty officer of 2nd MAW (Fwd.), was ready to accept a promotion.
Sprague, who had filled similar billets before, was frocked to his present rank April 30.
“My job didn’t change, they just promoted me into the job I was doing,” said Sprague, a Peru, N.Y. native. “I was filling the E-9 billet as an E-8, it validates the position. It’s great; it’s an achievement that not many get.”
He attributes his promotion to accepting challenges and performing well at tasks others didn’t want to attempt, like hard deployments.
“This promotion’s bittersweet,” said Sprague, whose former Naval Enlisted Code was hospital corpsman. “My wife usually pins me, that’s the bitter side. The sweet side is, it’s not every day a Sailor gets pinned by a general in the United States Marine Corps.”
His daily tasks include ensuring the Sailors of 2nd MAW receive the tools they need to get the job done. The biggest administrative issue in Iraq is sorting out Sailors pay issues, according to Sprague.
“My responsibilities include ensuring that the Sailors get the administrative tools to perform their duties,” he said. “As information is passed down and back up the chain of command I keep the chief of staff and the general informed of enlisted issues within 2nd MAW.”
Sprague is accountable for approximately 220 Sailors throughout the Wing’s area of operations, which include religious program specialists, air traffic controllers, hospital corpsmen and many other rates. Although some of the Sailors are here, many are at forward operating bases throughout Iraq. To make sure he is taking care of his Sailor’s needs, he visits them on a regular basis.
“I try to get out as often as possible,” said Sprague. “When we first got here I visited all our out lyingbases. I like to get out to other bases.”
Sprague has been in the Navy for 22 years and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom three times.
“I came here from the U.S.S. Enterprise, the U.S.S. Always Gone,” said Sprague. “I did a tour in the Persian Gulf and a tour in the North Atlantic. I came off that to 2nd MAW and immediately deployed. So, this is my third deployment to the area.”
As the senior enlisted Sailor, Sprague works with 2nd MAW’s senior enlisted member, Sgt. Maj. Lewis Bell, sergeant major of 2nd MAW (Fwd.) to take care of the troops in the Wing.
“I cherish our professional relationship; his personality makes it so much easier for us to handle any enlisted problems that may arise,” said Bell.