Eric S. Kafka

Eric S. Kafka

Eric S. Kafka

Eric S. Kafka

CMDCM(SW/AW/DV) Eric S. Kafka graduated High School in 1985 and immediately entered the U.S. Navy. Kafka’s first duty assignment was as a deck seaman on USS Dale (CG 19) homeported in Mayport, Fla. Other assignments include Security Policeman at Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada; Tugmaster on Palatka (YTB 801), at Naval Air Station Bermuda where he qualified and as an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and as a Navy Diver; USS Midway (CV 41), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), Assault Craft Unit One (ACU 1) , where he was designated as a Craft Master and Officer in Charge of LCU’s 1646 and 1627, and selected as the ACU-1 and Beach Group One Sailor of the Year, USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3), where he qualified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he was instrumental in the U.S. evacuation of Haitian refugees; and Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., as a Recruit Division Commander for 14 companies.


In May 1999, Master Chief reported to USS Cole (DDG 67). On October 12, 2000, terrorists attacked Cole as the ship refueled in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen Sailors were killed, and Master Chief Kafka was seriously injured in the explosion. His actions that day are credited with saving the lives of six enlisted Sailors. For his actions he was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Medal for Heroism. Subsequent tours included Military Entrance Processing Station in Lansing, Mich., Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and the Center for Security Forces (CSF), Camp Lejeune, N.C.

In May of 2009, Master Chief Kafka attended the Senior Enlisted Academy and the Command Master Chief course. Designated a Command Master Chief in July of 2010, Master Chief Kafka was ordered to be the Command Master Chief of USS Carter Hall (LSD 50). Master Chief Kafka served his last tour of duty as Command Master Chief of Navy Recruiting District Michigan. Master Chief Kafka’s personal awards include the Navy Marine Corps Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (six awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, as well as various unit and campaign awards.

CMDCM Eric Kafka, his wife Angie Maria Kafka and their 2 boys and 5 girls retired in April of 2015 to western Michigan, Whitehall.