III MEF Marines, Sailors bid Fasano farewell
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa, Japan -- III Marine Expeditionary Force Command Master Chief Michael J. Fasano retired after nearly 32 years of honorable service to the U.S. Navy on Feb. 9, 2018 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan.
Fasano, who has been a command master chief since 2014, characterized his career in the Navy as an opportunity to take progressively more care of the honorable Marines and Sailors under his charge.
Fasano enlisted in the Navy and attended recruit training December 1986 in San Diego, California. He then attended technical training to become a hospital corpsman. Fasano remained in the medical field for 28 years before taking his position as a command master chief. He served at this capacity at the Office of Naval Intelligence from 2014 before becoming command master chief of III MEF in 2016.
“You have to be able to give yourself over to the job,” said Fasano. “You have to be present for the Marines and Sailors you’re leading at all times. You can’t be drifting.”
Sgt. Maj. Mario Marquez, the III MEF sergeant major, worked alongside Fasano and grew to know him personally. As senior enlisted advisors, Fasano and Marquez worked as liaisons for the III MEF commanding general, Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson. Marquez said he admired Fasano for his hard work and influence throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.
“I just want to thank him for his personal sacrifice,” said Marquez. “He’s put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this MEF. He could have left sooner, but he stayed and poured his heart and soul into everything we do here. He’s been a great asset. We’re going to miss him.”
Fasano said he leaves the Navy with the respect of his peers and the gratitude of knowing he made an impact. He plans to go back to school, renew his degree and volunteer with fellow veterans.
Fasano said he was excited to relax with his loved ones now that his military career has come to an end.
“I have a house in Mobile, Alabama,” said Fasano, “and I will be able to sit down on the porch, drink coffee with my girlfriend and reflect on how I don’t have a return ticket.”