I am very pleased and proud to comment on the
MCPON with whom I served while Chief of Naval Personnel from
MCPON Billy Sanders. ...The
many layers in the Chain of Command leading to my position seemed to be
able to filter and distort much important information. I was extremely
fortunate to have Billy Sanders as MCPON during my entire time as Chief of
Naval Personnel. His sincerity, honesty, intelligence, and common sense
made him immensely valuable to the senior leadership of the Navy. We were
dealing with so many difficult challenges in those years, such as
developing effective solutions to our drug and alcohol problems in the
Navy. Bill's insights were extremely helpful in our decision‑making
process. The exemplary dedication which he and his lovely wife, Mozelle,
brought to their responsibilities was truly inspirational."
Vice Admiral William
Billy Sanders went in
the Air Force out of high school in 1954. A friend joined the Navy at the
same time. Three years later, he and his friend went home with their
discharge papers to Montgomery, Alabama. His friend was an E‑6, he was an
In 1958, after picking
up a few college credits, Sanders decided to go back in the service. This
time, he joined the Navy. Six months after his four‑year anniversary as a
sailor, he sewed on an aviation electronics technician first class crow.
Six years later, he was a chief, three years later a senior chief, and
three years after that he was a Master Chief Avionics Technician. "Joining
the Navy was the best decision I ever made," Sanders said.
Throughout his career,
Sanders made good, solid leadership and career decisions, based on common
sense and what he felt was right. In June 1979, 21 years after joining the
Navy, he was serving as command master chief for NAS Pensacola and
Training Air Wing Six. In Washington, CNO Admiral Thomas B. Hayward
announced the names of six finalists in the competition for a relief for
MCPON Bob Walker. Among the six were two aviation master chiefs, AFCM
Thomas S. Crow and AVCM Billy C. Sanders. The nod went to Crow and a year
later Sanders took over as command master chief at Naval Air Facility
Shortly before his tour
ended at LaJes, Sanders hosted a visit from the Master Chief Petty Officer
of the Navy. Crow was nearing the end of his tenure and nominations were
already coming in for his relief. He took Sanders aside and recommended
that he put in for his job. Sanders told him that he had already been
through that once before and did not see any point in doing
it again. But the
commanding officer at Lajes submitted a nomination package for Sanders
anyway. Meanwhile, Sanders was transferred to the Naval Education and
Training Program Development Center at Pensacola, Florida, in February
1982 to serve as the Special Projects Division Officer.
By July, the E‑8/9
selection board had whittled the nomination packages down to 35. The
special board chose four finalists: MMCM(SS) Norman "Shorty" D. Garoutte,
SUBLANT Force Master Chief; NCCM Courtland R. Johnson, Command Master
Chief, Commander Patrol Wings Pacific; HMCM(SS) William J. O'Daniell,
staff, CINCPACFLT Headquarters; and AVCM Billy Sanders, Chief of Naval
Education and Training Program
Development Center, Pensacola.
Sanders and his wife,
Mozelle, made their second trip to Washington for a week of interviews,
briefings, and tours. At the end of the week, Chief of Naval Operations
Admiral James D. Watkins announced that he had chosen Master Chief Billy
Sanders as the next Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.
In making the
announcement, the CNO described the candidates as "the best the Navy has
to offer," and said that his decision was a "very difficult one." He also
noted the increasingly responsible position of senior petty officers in
the Navy, citing the newly instituted chief petty officer indoctrination
course, the Senior Enlisted Academy and the new third class petty officer
indoctrination as examples.
'We are seeing the final
moves toward cementing the chief's hat to its rightful place on the Navy
leadership pedestal," the CNO said.
Much Work to be Done
Sanders agreed with the CNO that the Navy
was on better footing than it had been in a long time, but he also knew
there was still much work to be done.
"I stepped in at a good time," he said.
"Admiral Hayward and the people who worked for him, including MCPON Crow,
had brought back the Navy to a point where there was pride in serving in
the Navy. We were still having problems in the area of discipline and
leadership. In my mind, we had just let that get out of hand in previous
years. It's difficult to change something in a short period of time."
Sanders reported to Washington a month
before Crow's retirement ceremony. Together, they travelled to a few bases
and Sanders sat on the sidelines, watching and learning from Crow as he
talked to sailors and their leaders. In Washington, Crow took Sanders with
him on his rounds in the Pentagon or in the Naval Military Personnel
Command (NMPC), formerly BUPERS.
During the week prior to the change of
office and retirement ceremony, the CNO MCPO Advisory Panel came to town.
Sanders remembers his first impression of the panel: "There were so many
master chiefs in this one room and all of them trying to get their say in,
I was a little bit taken aback. It was
my job to chair the conference because
MCPON Crow was leaving. I did the best I could with it. I wasn't really
When he took over as MCPON, he went to the
CNO with a recommendation: the panel was too large, the number of fleet
and force master chiefs needed to be reduced. The CNO told him that,
politically, he could not do that.
"He told me that he couldn't go to Admiral
"X" and tell him that he no longer has a fleet or force master chief,"
Sanders said. "I told him that I understood that but one thing we could do
was reduce the number coming in for the panel. He agreed and asked for a
recommendation. I looked at the structure and saw that there was a lot of
overlapping. I selected the ones that could give the CNO a better overall
picture and still cover the Navy. When I submitted my recommendation, he
bought off on it. In my mind, we had a solid group, fewer people, same
inputs but better stated."
Sanders quickly learned that the CNO had
many more things on his mind than working with the MCPON.
"I had been in the job for about a week
and I had not heard from the CNO, except for the initial office call, nor
from the CNP," he said. "I was going to work reading up on the issues from
the staffing papers in the office and waiting on orders. I asked myself,
'Well, what am I supposed to do? I'm sitting here having a good time
reading but who is going to tell me what to do?'Well, I soon found out
that no one was going to tell me what to do. In all my time in the job, I
really never had specific orders on what to do. I soon found I could do
what I wanted to. I could go where I wanted to go. I could tackle whatever
issue I thought was worth tackling. I could sit there in the office for
three years and maybe no one would call for me. So, you get busy, you get
around to the offices, with the CNP, you propose things that you think you
should do, places you should go visit, issues you should talk to. I was
never told no."
One of his first tasks was to select a
staff. He inherited Crow's staff but they were all under orders and would
soon be gone.
"Inheriting someone else's staff is not
the best thing," he points out. "When you go in, you're fresh and these
people have been working the issues for some time and they are attuned to
doing things in a certain way. You're the new kid on the block. There
could be some conflict so I started looking for a replacement for an
executive assistant immediately."
Several people recommended YNCM Tim Brady
for the job. Sanders called up his record, along with a few others, and
found Brady's record "superb." Brady was working in Unaccompanied Bachelor
Housing and Military Housing Policy, OP‑153, located in the Navy Annex.
Sanders went to see him.
"I was busy working when I turned around
and saw the MCPON standing in my work space," Brady recalls. "I had always
held the MCPON in great esteem, had heard of the MCPON's reputation. When
he asked me if I would
be interested in the job as his executive
assistant, I said, 'Let me think about that ... yes!"'
"Tim was probably my best decision the
entire time I was in the Navy," Sanders said. "Bringing him onboard, his
expertise in the Navy, in the administrative field, personnel field, and
housing. I just couldn't have selected a better person."
The only member of Crow's staff that
Sanders kept was J01 Don Phelps. YN3 Margarita Santana became the other
member of the staff.
Making His Rounds
As he made his rounds through the
different offices in NMPC, Sanders found there was "still a lot of
apprehension in some of the offices" that his job was to "put them on
"I made it clear to them from the
beginning that I used the chain of command," he said, "that I wasn't going
to go over their heads with an issue unless they couldn't or wouldn't
assist me in the matter. I think after about a year I was well received,
they saw that I did what I said I was going to do."
Sanders and Vice Admiral Lando Zech, Chief
of Naval Personnel, developed a good working relationship.
"He was in his last year when I came on
board. I felt that he was totally supportive of my role. I could go see
him at any time and he would make time on his schedule to see me. I
certainly received good advice from him on how to do my job, where to take
certain problems. I felt he started me off in the right direction," he
Basic Common Sense
In his first year, Sanders began
addressing the two issues he came into office hoping to improve: senior
enlisted leadership and the Navy's voting record.
His own brand of leadership revolved
around "basic common sense."
"I tried to address each and every issue
in a common sense manner," he said. "Certainly if you are well informed
you are better prepared to apply more common sense to any situation. I
always felt that I was a master chief in the U.S. Navy, no more than that.
I believe in a strong chain of command, with a clear division between the
enlisted and officer communities. My energies were directed towards
representing the enlisted."
When he first came on board, he became
aware of a growing perception "that the Master Chief of the Navy had a
chain of command, a separate chain."
"I tried to lay that aside," he said. "I'm
the senior enlisted ... I don't have a chain of command as MCPON other
than the one everyone else has. I worked for the CNO and no one worked for
me, no one. I was the eyes and ears for the CNO and the fleet, force and
command master chiefs certainly could advise me and give me a clear
picture of what was happening in their
particular area. I could pass information
to them, not to subvert the chain of command but by passing it directly to
them, we could get it moving before the official word came down. We would
be ready to act on it. My goal was to get the senior enlisted leadership
back on board, taking care of people and getting in tune with what was
happening in the Navy today."
He encouraged leaders to care about their
people, to lead and prepare them for a future Navy when sailors would be
"smarter, more professional and leaders of the highest quality."
While Sanders was comfortable that the
credibility of the office had been well established by his predecessors,
he knew that he would have to build his own credibility with the senior
"Senior enlisted will listen to what you
say, they also will judge you and pass judgment quickly," he said. "They
will either accept or reject you. While some may have a different opinion,
I felt that I was accepted. Only time will prove that."
Sanders was pleased with the Navy's return
to the jumper and bell bottom trousers. To him, it sent a positive signal
that the Navy was recovering from the wild pendulum swing of the Zumwalt
"Admiral Zumwalt did a lot of good
things," he said. "I believe because of him, the Navy turned a corner from
operating solely as efficient workers to a Navy of work being done by
people. We had to start understanding people issues if we were going to
retain good sailors in the service. I believe most of his initiatives were
right on target."
But like many of his peers, Sanders
believed that the speed of the changes "caused a lot of disturbance."
"We went from a traditional Navy to a
radically new Navy and we weren't prepared for that," he said.
He cited "imagery" as the primary victim
in the change from bells to the coat and tie uniform.
"People recognize the sailor because he ‑
and I'm saying 'he' because at the time the Navy was comprised mostly of
men ‑ was identified with the 'crackeijacks,"' he points out. "Some may
not like to call them that but it was always crackerjacks to me. While the
other uniform was a nice coat and tie,
it wasn't the one recognized worldwide as "Navy." When
Admiral Hayward brought back
the traditional uniform, pride and professionalism seemed to be centered
In October 1982, just as Sanders was
taking over from Crow, service dress blue and service dress white jumpers
became mandatory for E‑1 to E‑5 men. Effective April 1, 1983, summer blues
were deleted for all Navy personnel. On October 1, 1983, service dress
blue coat and tie style uniform was no longer authorized for E‑6 and
"There will be no major uniform changes in
the immediate future for the
Navy," Sanders told a group of E‑6s and
below in Yokosuka, Japan, during his WESTPAC swing in 1983. According to
an article in The Seahawk,
the newspaper at U.S. Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Sanders told the group
that the CNO had made it a major priority to work for uniform stability.
"The CNO has been around the Navy for a
long time and is just as sick of all the uniform changes as you are," he
Grooming standards also tightened. In the
1984 Uniform Regulations, beards were no longer authorized for "persons in
high visibility positions of leadership such as COs, XOs, C M/Cs, etc."
Sanders was glad to see them go.
"Each time that I would come back from a
trip," he said, "I would report to the CNO that there were a lot of senior
people out there who thought beards should be terminated. Admiral Watkins
finally made that decision. He didn't make it lightly. He studied it for
some time, calling in all of his flags with warfare departments to get
their opinion. When he made the decision, it caused some upheaval but it
was short lived. It didn't cause as much turmoil as we thought it would.
We went into it gradually with just the high visibility positions. Then
the decision was made to apply the policy throughout the Navy.
Beards were prohibited for everyone in the
Navy after January 1, 1985. Exceptions were allowed for health reasons
(i.e., pseudo‑folliculitis barbae) when authorized by a
commander/commanding officer on the advice of a medical officer.
In the January 1984 issue of
The Direct Line, Sanders
analyzed the early phases and effect of "Pride and Professionalism" and
the direction it would take in the future.
"P&P I," Sanders explained, brought a
"return to our traditional uniforms," and "P&P II" brought "Not in my
Navy," and "Because it is the right thing to do.
"Often I'm asked, 'Do we need P&P III?'"
Sanders wrote. "The CNO Master Chief Petty Officer Advisory Panel
received, this challenge from Admiral Watkins when we met last November.
"Our report to CNO stated that we did not
recommend a P&P III ‑ we have on board at this time enough tools (i.e.,
rules, regulations, instructions) to get the job done. Unfortunately,
there are those that fail to use them; either through nonuse, selective
enforcement, or ignorance."
Sanders stressed the importance of
conducting and practicing "realistic and meaningful military training
ranging from General Quarters drills to teaching the proper way to
Physical fitness came into its own during
Sanders' term. of office. In 1981, the health and physical readiness
program was directed by DOD Directive 1308. 1. Stamina, cardio‑respiratory
endurance, strength, flexibility and body
Sanders effected the "Pride and Professionalism" motto and the direction
it would take in the future. Here MCPON‑5 discusses issues and concerns
with sailors from Rota, Spain.
composition was evaluated and tested.
In 1982, SECNAV Instruction 6100.1 and
OPNAV Instruction 6110.1 were implemented making annual
physical readiness testing (PRT) mandatory. Guidelines were set for body
In his February 1984 issue of
The Direct Line, Sanders
addressed the "Fitness for Life" program, providing insight to a
forthcoming revised version of OPNAVINST 6110.1 and the problems incurred
in the implementation of the new program.
"As with any new system or program," he
wrote, "problem areas are going to surface upon implementation." It was
determined that some revisions were needed. One element of the program
that caused concern was the percent body fat standards and how the
percentage was obtained.
"Some members, particularly in the more
senior levels, could not fathom how they could be within standards on the
OLD height/weight chart but out of standard using the body fat
He went on to explain how the revised
instruction would help to determine a more accurate figure in body fat.
"A modified procedure for estimating body
fat percentage has been included in the revision," he said. "For men, the
procedure includes neck and waist measurements which are compared to a
height chart. For women, measurements are taken at the neck, hips and
'natural waist.' These measurements
are then compared to height chart for
women to determine the body fat percentage. Keep in mind that all body fat
percentages are estimates to be used as a baseline."
He concluded by encouraging commands to
"support and encourage members who need assistance in achieving health
"Exercise time, good nutritional food
choices, and non‑smoking areas should be provided," he wrote. "The bottom
line is the self‑responsibility each of us has to ensure that we do not
succumb to the insidious effects of sedentary jobs, lax attitudes, and
neglect of preventive maintenance procedures for ourselves. This program
will help our great Navy prevail in the face of adversity and enhance the
overall professional and personal quality of life of every member."
Military educational assistance became a
major concern of sailors in the early 1980s. With the expiration of the
Vietnam GI Bill, Congress began looking for new ways to extend educational
assistance to everyone in the military.
"Much interest is being generated by a
bill introduced by Congressman G.V. 'Sonny' Montgomery of Mississippi,"
Sanders wrote in the March/April 1984 issue of
The Direct Line. "The bill,
Hall. 1400 will establish a new educational assistance program to help
recruit and retain quality military personnel in all branches of the Armed
Services. To a lesser degree and in keeping with previous GI bill
programs, the bill would assist veterans in readjusting to civilian life
following their military service."
The bill, if passed, would provide for a
basic benefit of $300 a month with a maximum of 36 months of entitlement
for military personnel who serve three years on active duty, or two years
on active duty and four years in the Selected Reserve. (A non‑refundable
$100 month reduction in pay for the first 12 months of enrollment would be
required from non‑prior service personnel.) Eligible individuals must be
high school graduates or have received a high school equivalency
certificate by the completion of the qualifying period of service. Use of
benefits while in‑service could begin after two years of active duty. The
bill passed and became Public Law 98‑525 on October 19, 1984. Although
revisions have been made to expand eligibility and to adjust the
participation fees, the bill has survived the test of time and today
enjoys a participation rate of 80 percent among new recruits.
Issues such as the GI Bill and pay
increases gave fuel to the fire that Sanders was trying to build under
sailors to motivate them to vote. During a visit to his former command in
Pensacola, Florida, the MCPON hit hard at
voter apathy in a meeting with chief petty
officers. The Gosport, NAS Pensacola's newspaper, ran a front page article
in its June 17, 1983 issue about his visit.
"Voter apathy, according to Master Chief
Petty Officer of the Navy Billy Sanders, is the number one reason why
military personnel lose some traditional benefits and fail to obtain
others," the article began.
"The Navy's top enlisted man said his
research into Navy voting habits revealed that during the last elections
only 20 percent of Navy people voted."
The article quoted Sanders, 'We are our
own worst enemy. We cry and moan about not getting a pay raise or other
benefits, but yet we are willing to let the civilian community pick our
leaders for us. I'm here to tell you that there are a number of
anti‑military elected officials in Washington and, unless we are willing
to take a few minutes and fill out that absentee ballot or go to the local
polls and cast our vote, we will continue to fall short on the benefit
Sanders told the chiefs that those who
failed to vote or failed to encourage
their troops to vote were "being negligent
in their duties," according to the article.
Sanders also encouraged sailors to write
to their Congressmen.
Both Admiral D. Watkins and Mrs. Mozelle
Sanders shared the joy of MCPON‑selectee Billy Sanders on July 16,1982.
CNO Admiral Watkins commented that his decision was a difficult one, yet
he believed MCPON Sanders was the right man to meet the Navy's
increasingly challenging issues.
"Most people forget that the CNO has a
chain of command that is a civilian one. He answers to the Secretaries of
the Navy and Defense and the President of the United States," he told a
group of sailors in Yokosuka, Japan. "You can bet that a Congressman would
pay more attention to a letter from a constituent in his own district who
has the power to vote him out of office than someone testifying in front
of the Congress as a body."
"Another good reason to write to
Congress," he commented, "was that it gives representatives a feel for
"Two‑thirds of the current Congress has
had no military affiliation whatsoever," he said. "They don't know what
you do or about your work day. Anytime you write Congress, it keeps them
that much better informed."
In his last year in office, Sanders said
he could see the tide beginning to turn.
"There were a couple of Senate races and
some in the House during my last year that were won through the absentee
ballot," he said. "I felt we were on the right track, but it was one of
those things that you can never give up on or you'll slide backwards very
quickly. I think it should be part of our strategy to let the youngsters
know how important it is to vote. Not tell them how to vote but tell them
how important it is and certainly push to get them registered."
Sanders, who privately admitted that he
was "fairly senior" before he voted for the first time, wasn't sure how
effective he was during his testimonies before Congressional committees.
"I went with my counterparts from the
other services and we testified mainly on pay, morale, housing," he said.
"It was my job to represent the enlisted force, not to give them the party
line but to give them the sailors' opinion. It's hard to tell whether we
made a difference or not. I think the staffers to the Congressmen are the
ones that really influence them."
But according to his assistant, Master
Chief Brady, Sanders was very well liked by the Congressmen with whom he
"He came across with the believability of
an Abe Lincoln," Brady said during a recent interview. "They considered
him to be an honorable, moral and ethical individual."
One of the issues that Sanders and his
counterparts took to the Hill was the need for a dependent dental care
program. A trip report submitted on December 29, 1983 following the
MOPON's trip to New London, Connecticut, Newport, Rhode Island, Brunswick,
Maryland, and Keflavick, Iceland, lists a dependent care program as a
primary concern of the sailors he had visited.
"During most of my question and answer
periods, the issue of dental care for dependents surfaced," he reported.
"This is now a real problem for our sailors with dependents, especially
junior enlisted. I have become aware of several legislative efforts
concerning this problem. I do not believe relief in a
form similar to medical care is in sight
for dependent personnel. Perhaps it is time to investigate the possibility
of some form of a DOD contributory program."
On August 1987, a preventive dental
program for spouses and children of active duty members was offered
through Delta Dental. The program is managed by the DOD through the
Civilian Health and Medical Progam of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS).
Return to Tradition
Like his predecessors, Sanders never
missed a chance to stress the importance of senior leadership when he
visited a command. At Pensacola, he told the chiefs that the CNO was
pushing for a return to the CPO's traditional role in trainingjunior
"That doesn't mean just junior enlisted,"
he said. "The CNO mandate to return CPOs to their traditional role
includes training of junior officers. After all, what is a junior officer
except a better educated airman, seaman, or fireman! When a junior officer
walks into your work center, he has no more expertise than that E‑3. It's
the job of the chief to train him so that he or she can become a good
While Sanders was generally pleased with
the direction the Navy was taking during his three years, he was troubled
by a "force out" program
similar to high year tenure and
accelerated promotions in certain critical ratings.
"We had a 'force out' for people who could
not advance," he said. I didn't agree with that. I used to work for and
with some old timers who were professional second classes. Clearly, they
had been in for several years but they were some of the best second
classes we had. Us youngsters could look to them for leadership and advice
and especially for professional expertise. They were good role models at
that time ... not in the field of advancement but they knew what they were
doing and they were the best damn second class petty officers in the Navy.
When we lost those petty officers, we lost some stability. There are
people that just can't take tests and some really don't have the ambition
to go any further. They are happy in their
niche in life and they do a
good job with it. The force out started before my tenure and continued on
On the other side of the coin, Sanders saw
other petty officers advancing too rapidly.
"There are sailors that go through the
schooling process and come out as E‑5's," he points out. "They are paid
well and perhaps we need to do that to retain or attract them into the
service, but they are not petty officers second class. Once they get out
to the fleet, they realize that they are not prepared to meet their
military duties. Some of the seamen out there eat them up because they are
rookies ‑ inexperienced as petty officers."
"I wish there was a program, similar to
the old pro pay system, wherein we could reward these bright young sailors
without promoting them at such an early stage in their Naval career. I
have a lot of respect for third and second class petty officers. They
should be mature, have leadership abilities and earn the respect of the
people who work for them. Third class petty officers should have
seasoning, hands‑on work and be part of the command, not just products of
the school system."
Sanders heartily approved of the school
system developed through the Senior Enlisted Academy. After a trip to
Newport, he reported via The Direct
Line that "the instructors are superb professionals," the
curriculum "covers a wide range of subjects which provides the students an
educational and practical experience to enhance their leadership
abilities" and the students are "extremely knowledgeable and highly
Sanders left his mark on the Academy by
replacing the officer assigned as director with a master chief petty
officer. He also worked to get funding for construction of a new building
to house the academy.
When Sanders needed special guidance or
assistance with a particular problem or issue, he turned to the CNP's
executive assistant, Captain Jeremy "Mike" Boorda.
"I felt particular akin to him for a
couple of reasons," he said of the captain
who was destined to become one of the
Navy's most popular and outspoken Chiefs of Naval Personnel. "He was a
very personable individual and he appeared to always shoot straight. He
wasn't hesitant to talk with me so I felt I had an ally. If I was doing
something right, he would so say. If I was heading in the wrong direction,
he would so say. I felt comfortable with him and I am very pleased to see
him in the position he is in today."
Time to be Navy
Sanders was genuinely concerned with the
future of the Navy. He could see the trend to downsizing and the growing
need for quality people. He placed the responsibility for building quality
squarely on the shoulders of the senior enlisted leadership. In his
November 1984 issue of The Direct
Line, he advised his readers that the Navy had asked Congress
for a 12,064 increase to end strength. Only 6,500 was approved.
"This shortfall," he wrote, "coupled with
the neglect of the past, challenges the Navy to use its assets to the
maximum if we are to continue to meet all commitments. This is especially
true with personnel."
While he noted that quality of first
termers was at an all time high and "retention of our highly skilled
technical complement personnel has never been better," he pointed out the
"driving force" would continue to be the career Navy professional.
"Master Chief, Senior Chief and Chief ‑
the Navy has never needed you more," he stressed. "It's clear that from
your years of service you have made a career decision to remain in the
Navy ‑ THAT'S NOT ENOUGH! It's time to be a professional military
man/woman. It's time to be Navy.
"There is no fat, no excess, no fall back
position. Sailors must be properly trained and led. They must be able to
perform the duties they were hired on to do. Nowhere is this more true
than in the chief petty officer ranks. Chiefs can and make the difference;
it's our Navy, it's our responsibility. Although our CPO creed states, in
part, 'these responsibilities do not appear in print,' they should be
indelibly stamped in our hearts."
In his final word in the October, 1985
issue of The Direct Line,
Sanders said: "Our Navy is on a proper and true course. KEEP IT THERE!"
Today, Sanders is the executive assistant
to the executive vice president of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in
Pensacola, Florida. His wife, Mozelle, died in 1990. Unlike his
counterparts, Sanders does not maintain a close contact with the office he
once held. Friends, acquaintances, or active duty members who seek him out
for assistance in dealing with Navy problems are all told the same thing:
go through the proper channels. Sanders left the Navy feeling good that it
was a "little bit better" for his having been there, but he closed that
door behind him.