About Vonn Banks...

Master Chief Vonn Banks in uniform

After 30 years of active duty Naval service, Master Chief Evelyn P. Banks celebrated her transition during a retirement ceremony on October 4, 2013.

Master Chief Banks is a native of Memphis, TN and honor graduate of Byhalia High School, Byhalia, Mississippi. Mindful of the privilege to serve her fellow Americans, she enlisted in the United States Navy on January 28, 1984. Upon completion of Recruit Training, Orlando, FL, she was assigned to USS SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD 37). During this tour, she attended Mess Management Specialist "A" School and graduated with honors.

Her follow-on tours included Navy Recruiting District Memphis, TN and Naval Air Station, Adak, AK. She was successful at both rural and metro recruiting and was selected as NROTC Recruiter of the Year. While in Adak, she advanced to chief petty officer and qualified as an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist. Following Adak, Master Chief Banks executed orders to USS ACADIA (AD 42). Before her transfer to Navy Recruiting District Jacksonville, FL, she was advanced to senior chief petty officer. After transferring from Jacksonville, FL, she accepted orders to Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) DECATUR. At PCU DECATUR, she advanced to master chief petty officer. Following her Pre-commissioning tour, she received orders to USS GERMANTOWN (LSD 42) in Sasebo, Japan. During this assignment, she deployed to the North Arabian Gulf and qualified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. Most noteworthy during her tour onboard was her selection to the Command Master Chief Program.

Her first Command Master Chief billet was Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia. During a highly successful tour, she accomplished unprecedented milestones in leadership for the command and the 27 tenant commands under her cognizance. Following a tour at the Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA), she assumed duties as the Command Master Chief of Carrier Air Wing FOURTEEN in Lemoore, CA. While embarked on USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72) she completed a historic 10-month deployment in support of Iraqi Freedom, winning the coveted Ramage Award for the best CVN/CVW team. From there, Master Chief Banks served as the Chief of Naval Operations-Directed Command Master Chief at Navy Recruiting Command in Millington, TN. After her tour at Navy Recruiting Command, Master Chief Banks served as the Command Master Chief at the Naval Academy followed by her final tour as Command Master Chief for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Washington, DC.

Master Chief Banks has earned an Associates of Arts in General Studies Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. She is a graduate of both the Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Montgomery, AL and the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, Class 86 (Blue Group) in Newport, RI. She is also a graduate of the Executive Business Course at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA and National Defense University’s Keystone Senior Enlisted course.

Master Chief Banks’ decorations include the Legion of Merit (gold star); Meritorious Service Medal (gold star); Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four gold stars); Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four gold stars); Good Conduct Medal (four bronze stars); National Defense Service Medal (bronze star); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Southwest Asia Service Medal (bronze star); Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Today, Vonn Banks speaks to corporate and non-profit audiences around the country.  A personal highlight of 2014 and 2015 was the privilege of motivating the Minnesota chapter of the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), a student leadership organization that focuses on youth, peer education and family. The relationship was born after a chance meeting on September 30, 2013, the evening before the Federal government shutdown. Banks met the State FCCLA chapter officers, who were in Washington, D.C. for a conference, when she visited the Lincoln Memorial. Her plan to formally deliver her retirement speech from the steps where Dr. Martin Luther King stood was thwarted by the pending shutdown.  "I knew if I came here, I would meet someone who could listen to my speech," she said, and the bonds formed that evening continue today as Vonn returns to inspire new generations of FCCLA leaders.