New Atlantic Fleet Chief offers “mentorship, guidance and support”  

From left, CPO1 Patrick Mackey, Capt(N) Mike Stefanson, and CPO1 Cavel Shebib sign the paperwork during the Change of Appointment ceremony aboard HMCS Fredericton on June 11. PTE BRENDAN GAMACHE

New Atlantic Fleet Chief offers “mentorship, guidance and support”  

By Nathan Stone,
Trident Staff 

CPO1 Patrick Mackey is the new Fleet Chief for Canadian Fleet Atlantic.

Canadian Fleet Atlantic welcomed its new Fleet Chief at a Change of Appointment Ceremony at His Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Dockyard on June 13.  

“I feel extremely privileged today” said Chief Petty Officer 1st class (CPO1) Patrick Mackey as he assumed the role of Atlantic Fleet Chief. The ceremony was held on the flight deck of His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton, aboard which he previously served as Coxswain. CPO1 Mackey is replacing CPO1 Cavel Shebib, who served in the role for the last two years.   

Evoking his time aboard Fredericton, CPO1 Mackey said that the Coxswain position “represents an opportunity to mentor and to guide others, but more importantly, to help sailors that are struggling on both a professional and personal level.”  

He added that he’s now “in a position where I can provide that mentorship, guidance and support to the entire fleet and beyond. It is something that I will cherish for the entirety of my time as Chief.” 

He said that the role of Atlantic Fleet Chief will be difficult and acknowledged that the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is facing challenges related to personnel shortfall and aging equipment, but added that the Atlantic Fleet is “continuing to represent Canada well,” with seven ships currently at sea.  

CPO1 Mackey also noted the respect and admiration his predecessor has within the fleet and the high bar set for the role of Atlantic Fleet Chief by CPO1 Shebib.  

“I can’t count how many times someone has said to me, ‘you have big shoes to fill.’” 

In his outgoing address, CPO1 Shebib said that he was “grateful” to have served in the position and that his two years in the role had gone by quickly. He thanked the sailors, officers, friends and family that supported him during that time – he also credited that support network for his success in the role.  

CPO1 Shebib was given a standing ovation from the crowd made up of members of the Maritime Forces Atlantic command team, colleagues, friends and family of the incoming and outgoing Atlantic Fleet Chiefs.  

Captain (Navy) (Capt (N)) Michael Stefanson, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic (CCFL), presided over the ceremony. He said the position of Atlantic Fleet Chief is “a vital role and a challenging one,” and described the relationship between the CCFL and the Atlantic Fleet Chief as a crucial link in the chain of command that affects the health of the fleet.  

Capt (N) Stevenson offered advice to CPO1 Mackey on where to concentrate his efforts in his new role.  

“Follow what Cavel did; focus on the sailors and focus on the ships.”