NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) chief selectees traversed Washington, D.C., Sept. 11 to explore the tradition and heritage of the Navy's chief petty officers (CPO).
According to Senior Chief Electronics Technician (SW/AW/PJ) David Carter, one of four senior enlisted liaisons with the group, visiting the many sites on such an emotional anniversary helped seal the day's purpose.
"The theme of the selectees' transition process in becoming chiefs is history and heritage," said Carter.
"When we were at Arlington Cemetery, standing around all those fallen brothers and sisters, we realized the heritage we are expected to carry on, a heritage they died for. That was a pretty real moment for all of us."
During the daylight embark, the group also enjoyed a performance from the Navy Sea Chanters, researched historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Magna Carta, and received a brief on the chief petty officer uniform from a reserve master chief at the Navy Memorial.
"Our big job as chief petty officers is to lead and mentor Sailors by providing correct answers," said Carter. "Sometimes these answers need research, and knowing how to research problems makes you a better leader. If theses future CPOs use the chief's mess correctly, they can find answers to any question and handle any problem."
At the end of the day, chief selectees departed the nation's capital with a better understanding of their new job, and a stronger relationship with the brothers and sisters of the CPO mess.
The time spent bonding with seasoned chief petty officers increased the selectees' excitement as they undergo their transition from blueshirt to khakis.
"The D.C. trip helped me connect with the CPO mess I'm about to join and the uniform I'm about to wear," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Fuels 1st Class Robert Tillery, a chief select. "It also helped me understand how to continue the tradition of the CPOs that have gone before me. I had a really good time."
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare her for another 25 years or more of service.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.