NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) individually recognized and advanced 216 Sailors to the next pay-grade in a frocking ceremony June 18, in the Huntington Hall gymnasium located in Newport News.
"Seeing our shipmates move up in rank is always a proud experience," said Carl Vinson Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Glenn Mallo.
Each Sailor was presented a certificate and congratulated by Mallo; Capt. Dennis Mikeska, Carl Vinson executive officer; and Capt. Ted Carter, commanding officer.
"We are one of the only services in the nation who participates in frocking," said Carter. "These service members have been selected to the next pay grade, and they have worked hard to earn their promotions," said Carter.
For some Carl Vinson crew members, being frocked was once a far-off goal. But with the assistance of shipboard programs such as "Task Force Advancement," many Carl Vinson Sailors' dreams of being advanced as petty officers were realized sooner than expected.
"I entered the Navy as an undesignated seaman, and never imagined myself having any rank or leadership," said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Chris Smith, Carl Vinson's Administration Department clerk. "After managing to strike a rate, I just started working hard, and now it's paying off. I just got frocked, and just in time for my first son to be born."
The term "to frock" stemmed from a tradition among monks, meaning to invest with priestly office or privilege, and also gave name to "frock coats" worn by Naval officers.
Frocking, which ultimately amounts to an advancement in pay grade, is awarded to Sailors based on biannual advancement exam results, and prior Navy performance and achievements.
Dating back to the early 1800s, frocking was used as a temporary means to fill an empty leadership position, but is now a common method of appointing Sailors to higher ranks after they've been selected for promotion by the Navy.
In keeping with the Navy's emphasis on the core values of honor, courage and commitment, Carl Vinson's frocking ceremony concluded with all the newly promoted petty officers reciting the oath of enlistment in unison, led by the commanding officer.
"This is a wonderful privilege," said Carter. "Our Sailors now have a higher level of trust and confidence from the entire USS Carl Vinson chain of command."
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 midpoint 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 for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.