VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steven S. Giordano and his wife Navy Ombudsman at Large (OAL) Elka Franco-Giordano spoke to more than 220 spouses of chief petty officer (CPO) selectees at the Hampton Roads Continuum of Resources and Education (C.O.R.E.) Selectee Spouse Conference, Aug. 19, in Virginia Beach, Va.
The Giordanos, who have been a CPO family for 14 years, shared their personal experience surviving the CPO season and adapting to the new lifestyle in a question and answer forum.
The spouses asked questions ranging from coping with the absence of their spouse to managing a personal career.
"Elka and I have had those hard emotional conversations about the demand signals and careers. It's been hard," said Giordano. "But the best thing that we've been able to do is sit down and talk about it. No matter how hard it is, I encourage everybody to sit down and have those conversations."
Giordano thanked the spouses for their supporting their Sailors.
"Thank you for being those people in our lives," said Giordano. "We would not be who we are were it not for each and every one of you. There's nothing better than being a United States Navy chief petty officer. It isn't something to be taken lightly or to be treated as a shiny object."
Franco-Giordano concluded the forum.
"Just being here can be a challenge, but you are already taking a huge step into being a part of this family," said Franco-Giordano. "There are a lot of opportunities to get involved and be a part of this. It's all provided by volunteer spouses who have gone through the process, so take advantage of the knowledge they are empowering you with and use it to contribute to the mess."
C.O.R.E. offers a selection of seminars, workshops, classes, and individuals dedicated to empowering the Navy spouse, educating the Navy family and, promoting the Navy lifestyle.
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