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News | Oct. 6, 2020

Joint Reserve Force admiral receives second star

By DLA Public Affairs

Surrounded by friends and colleagues, Defense Logistics Agency Joint Reserve Force Director Navy Rear Adm. Grafton "Chip" Chase Jr. was promoted to rear admiral upper half at DLA Headquarters Oct. 2.

Navy Rear Adm. Andrew Lennon presided over the ceremony on behalf of DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic. Lennon is the vice director of the Navy Staff, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

“The good news is, when you get promoted from rear admiral to rear admiral, you don’t have to change your business cards,” Lennon quipped. “In other services, you have major general, but I’m telling you, being promoted to two-star, you will be a ‘major admiral.’”

Lennon said Chase’s promotion confers more responsibility.

“When we promote someone it’s because we need them to lead at the next level,” he said, adding that Chase has demonstrated exquisite leadership. “Promotion is a challenge; we’re saying, ‘Chip, you need to up your game and we really need your skills to keep the Department of Defense and our armed forces moving along.’”

After restating the oath of office, Chase’s wife and sister helped affix his bars.

Chase said he could already feel the pressure of the second star, adding that when he thinks about the foundation of his leadership, he thinks about rowing at Syracuse University.

“My practical leadership lab to me was that crew team. I learned how to follow before I learned how to lead,” he said.

One of the admiral’s philosophies is to appreciate the influence leaders have on others.

“Never pass down your negative vibes, always project a positive influence and it’ll have an incredible impact on the morale of the ship,” he said. “You have all influenced me and it’s the reason I’m wearing these [stars] today.” 

Chase is a native of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and the son of a World War II Navy veteran. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Syracuse University in 1983 and was commissioned through the Naval Officer Candidate School in 1986 and obtained a master’s degree from LaSalle University in business administration in 1997, graduating with honors.