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Command Master Chief (CMDCM) Stanley D. Ponder, native of Atlanta, Georgia arrived at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois 2004. He graduated from Religious Program Specialist (RP) “A” school in Meridian, Mississippi later that year in May.
He earned an Associates in Art Science from Excelsior University in 2007. In 2008, he graduated from Harvard School of Business in Office Leadership and Management. In 2013, he earned his second Associates Degree in Religious Science from Liberty University. In November 2014, he completed a dual degree program from Carolina Theological Institute and Seminary with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education and a Masters of Arts in Theology. He is also a graduate from the US Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 188, Purple) 2015, received his Resiliency Building Leader Program- Trainer certification in 2021, and graduated from Chief of the Boat/ Command Master Chief course 2022, converting from the RP rate to Command Master Chief (CMDCM).
His duty stations include: Bluejacket Memorial Chapel, Training Support Center, Great Lakes, Illinois/ 2D Marine Air Wing Cherry Point, NC; Forward deployed Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) with 2D Low Altitude Air Defense/ Field Medical Training Battalion-East; Chaplain and Religious Program Specialist Expeditionary Training, Camp Johnson, NC/ CVN68 the USS Nimitz, Bremerton, WA/ Recruit Training Command; Recruit Memorial Chapel, Great Lakes, IL/ Headquarters of the Marine Corps, Chief of Chaplains Office as the first African American Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chaplain of the Marine Corps, Pentagon, Arlington, VA., and at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) Headquarters, Fall Church, Va. as the FORCE RP for Navy Medicine.
His awards are Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (four awards). His Navy Enlisted Certifications (NEC) and Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) include: Master Training Specialist (NETC and BUMED), Instructor (805A), Safety Technician (825A), Marine Basic Combat Skills Specialist (A17A), Command Fitness Leader (8CFL), Marine Corps Marital Arts Instructor Black Belt, 2nd Degree (0916) MOS.
He reported to USS TORTUGA (LSD 46) in 2022.