Butler embraces sea change in joint reserve force

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs


Navy Master Chief Petty Officer James Butler will leave the warmth of the West Coast to replace Navy Command Master Chief Bill Sherman as senior enlisted leader in the Defense Logistics Agency Joint Reserve Force April 1.

Butler currently serves as Command Master Chief of the Coastal Riverine Squadron One in San Diego, California. “In ’91, I went west and never came back,” he said. But as a Maryland native, Butler can look forward to more visits with family members who still reside there.

“I’ll be a better family member for it; my wife is always on me to go back more,” he said.

The master chief petty officer enlisted in the Navy in 1988 and graduated with honors from the Senior Enlisted Academy, Naval Leadership and Ethics Center at the U.S. Naval War College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from National University.

In addition to active duty and reserve component assignments, Butler served with Joint Logistics Task Force Five in Afghanistan, Qatar, Kuwait and Germany as command senior enlisted leader.

The Navy veteran said his prior knowledge of DLA didn’t extend beyond the meaning of the acronym.

“I haven’t worked with DLA before and I had no idea how large ‘the machine’ was,” he said. “It is new, but I’m on my 30th year in the Navy, so something new is good — it keeps you motivated.”

In his new position, Butler will coordinate with the JRF’s work with DLA’s major subordinate commands.

He said he looks forward to the challenges serving in a joint environment.

“I hope I will fill out my vocabulary pretty quickly. There’s going to be a lot of joint service stuff that I’ll need to get spun up on, but luckily, I’ve got a lot of good teachers,” he said.

He also hopes to inspire and motivate his staff.

“I think all of us become teachers later in life, because we’ve stepped in things too many times and maybe we can help other people prevent them,” he said.

Butler earned Expeditionary, Information, Seabee, Fleet Marine and Surface Warfare Specialist insignia and has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps; several Commendation Medals and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals as well as the Combat Action Ribbon and various other campaign, command and personal awards.