CMDCM (AW/SW) Leonard B. Gage
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Staff Command Master Chief
Master Chief Gage was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo. He graduated from Pattonville High School in June 1988. He enlisted in the Navy and reported for basic training at Great Lakes, Ill. in September 1988. Following graduation, he reported as an undesignated airman to Airborne Early Warning Squadron One Two Six (VAW-126), Norfolk, Va. There he qualified as a plane captain for the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, struck as an Aviation Administrationman and rose to the rank of petty officer second class.
While assigned to VAW-126, then Petty Office Gage deployed to the Persian Gulf on the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) in 1989. He participated in OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/ DESERT STORM while assigned to Carrier Air Group Seventeen. In 1992, he reported to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD), Master Jet Base, Cecil Field, Fla. There he led the Production Control and Aviation Support Equipment divisions.
He next reported in 1995 to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Four (HC-4), Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Italy. While there, he earned the rank of first class petty officer and served as the unit’s leading petty officer. During this tour with the “Black Stallions,” he qualified as an enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist.
In 1999, Petty Officer Gage reported to AIMD, NAS Jacksonville, Fla., where he served as the administrative officer with oversight for 800 personnel. Later he served as Production Control Supervisor and earned a promotion to the rank of chief petty officer.
Chief Gage reported in 2002 to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Fifteen (HS-15) on NAS Jacksonville. He immediately deployed to the Mediterranean, Adriatic Ocean and Persian Gulf on the USS George Washington (CVN 73). The crew engaged in combat operations against Iraqi Forces in the Southern No-Fly Zone of Iraq. He mastered the skills needed to certify and release aircraft “Safe for Flight” and earned his enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist designation.
In 2005, he reported to Helicopter Anti Submarine Squadron Lite Forty Four (HSL-44), Mayport, Fla. He assumed the duties as maintenance control supervisor and earned a promotion to senior chief petty officer.
In 2008, Senior Chief Gage reported to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department leading chief petty officer responsible for 330 Sailors.
Selected as a Command Master Chief in 2009, he reported to Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron Six. There he led 610 active/reserve duty Sailors forward deployed to Dubai UAE, Fujairah, Rota, Spain and Beach Detachment Norfolk in direct support of OIF/OEF operations.
In February 2012, he reported to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, Jacksonville Fla., where he led 1,000 Sailors across three geographical locations including Key West, Mayport and Jacksonville in direct support of 15 tenant commands and 300 aircraft.
In January 2015, he reported to COMUSNAVCENT, Manama, Bahrain, and currently serves as the Staff Command Master Chief.
Master Chief Gage is a graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy, Newport, RI. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (fifth award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (eighth award) and numerous unit and campaign awards.