Master Chief Mason, a native of Mears, Michigan, enlisted in the Navy in July 1984. Following completion of basic training at Recruit Training Command Orlando, Florida, he reported to Quartermaster “A” School in Orlando, Florida, and then Basic Enlisted Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut. Mason qualified in submarines and was awarded his silver dolphins on Nov. 18, 1986. He departed the Navy for college in April 1988 and returned to active duty in September 1990. He is a graduate of the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center Command Master Chief / Chief of the Boat course in August 2007, Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 198 Green), and the National Defense University Keystone Course (Class 15-2).
Mason's sea duty assignments include tours on USS Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN 631) (Blue Crew); USS George Washington Carver (SSBN 656) (Gold Crew); USS Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN 631) (Gold Crew); USS Florida (SSBN 728) (Gold Crew); USS Key West (SSN 722); USS Tucson (SSN 770).
He served as chief of the boat on USS West Virginia (SSBN 736) (Gold Crew) and USS Tennessee (SSBN 734) (Gold Crew), both in Kings Bay, Georgia.
His shore assignments include Naval Education and Training Center, Newport, Rhode Island; Tactical Readiness and Evaluation (TRE) Team, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SUBPAC), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Naval Submarine Support Center, Kings Bay, Georgia; TRE team, Submarine Forces, Norfolk, Virginia.
Mason’s command master chief tours include Submarine Squadron EIGHT, Norfolk; Submarine Squadron SIX, Norfolk; Submarine Group Seven/Task Force 54/74, Yokosuka, Japan; Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington D.C.
He also served as the force master chief, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and he served as interim U.S. Pacific Fleet’s fleet master chief, both in Pearl Harbor.
Command Master Chief Russell Mason assumed duties as the command master chief for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet on December 10, 2017.
His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (seven awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), Battle Efficiency “E” Ribbon (three awards), and various unit and campaign awards.