CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Forty-three Sailors from USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Commander, Carrier Strike Group Seven (CCSG 7) were advanced to the rank of chief petty officer (CPO) Sept. 21 during a pinning ceremony in the ship's hangar bay.
The keynote speaker for the event was Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer, who congratulated the new chiefs and reminded them not to forget the support they received from their families during the induction process.
"My advice to these new chiefs is to always remember the significance of today; remember what got you here; remember that your family was and will continue to be an integral part of your success," said Kraft. "None of you could have achieved this success without your families."
"I've often said that we have the finest CPO Mess in the Navy right here on board Ronald Reagan, and I know these new additions will only strengthen the mess that I rely so heavily upon in the day-to-day operations of the ship," added Kraft.
According to Ronald Reagan Command Master Chief (SW/AW) James DeLozier, it was the responsibility of the CPO mess to train this year's group of selects and help guide them through the induction process.
"Putting on the anchors is a huge step in the careers of these Sailors, and the pinning ceremony is the first opportunity for their families and shipmates to see them put on the khaki," said DeLozier.
DeLozier said this year's group of selectees had to overcome obstacles and learn to work as a team as part of the induction process.
"Over the last seven weeks this group of selectees has been challenged both mentally and physically and were able to succeed," said DeLozier. "We look forward to welcoming these 43 new members into our CPO mess."
The newly pinned chiefs said they were proud of their accomplishment and happy that their friends and families were able to see them being pinned.
"When I received my anchors, I realized just how truly blessed and fortunate I am to be a chief petty officer," said Chief Intelligence Specialist (SW/AW) Adonica Johnson. "My parents and children were present to pin me, and in that moment, I realized that all of the hard work of my Sailors and the sacrifices of my loved ones were not in vain."
"Putting on my anchors means that I am now the chief. Sailors will now be asking me the questions, but fortunately, I have a great CPO mess to learn from and won't be traveling this road alone," added Johnson.
The ceremony concluded with the traditional reading of the CPO creed and the singing of "Anchor's Aweigh." A reception in the CPO mess followed the ceremony.
Ronald Reagan is currently undergoing a planned incremental availability in the carrier's homeport of San Diego following a three-month surge deployment in support of operations in the Western Pacific.
For more news from USS Ronald Reagan, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.