DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- Three Sailors from Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) were frocked to the rank of master chief petty officer during a ceremony in the command auditorium, April 30.
The fiscal year 2009 E-9 selection board selected Senior Chief Fire Controlmen (SW) William Hoh, Shawn Isbell (SW) and Lewis Wilson (SW) for advancement to fill half of the master chief fire controlman (FC) Aegis positions available throughout the fleet.
"The average time for someone to make master chief is usually around 18 to 20 years. We are several years ahead of that, with only 14 years of service," explained Hoh, ATRC's senior enlisted instructor. Hoh enlisted in the Navy in August 1993.
"A chief is like a Sailor's coach," explained Isbell. "I was pushing boots, new recruits, when I learned that my strength was working with and training young Sailors, like a coach does for a sports team."
Isbell is currently the student control officer at ATRC and recently got selected for the command senior chief program in January.
"Since I got selected for master chief, I will convert automatically to command master chief," said Isbell. "I leave in May to start at the Senior Enlisted Academy and Command Master Chief 'C' School."
After completing training, Isbell will become the CMC for Strike Fighter Squadron 31, also known as the Tomcatters, stationed at Naval Air Station Oceania, Fla.
All three newly appointed master chief petty officers enlisted within months of each other. They came through FC "A" School and "C" Schools together.
Each made chief petty officer in 2002 and senior chief petty officer in 2005. All three promotions, from chief petty officer to master chief petty officer, were awarded during their first time up for promotion.
"Each time I've been promoted from chief to master chief, I've been the youngest in experience and not age, since I joined kind of late," explained Wilson.
Wilson, who enlisted in November 1993, is currently the Fire Control System/Operational Readiness Test System leading chief petty officer and will be filling the position of student control officer. Wilson was recently stationed aboard USS Stout (DDG-55).
Although being the youngest means it'll be a while before he gets paid as a master chief, getting selected is what is important, explained Wilson.
"History has shown that coming here, to ATRC, promotes faster than recruiting," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Charles Hardin, Center for Surface Combat Systems.
"You're going to work hard when you're an instructor here, but this is certainly a good place to go career-wise," Hardin said.
"It's really remarkable that 50 percent of the fleetwide selectees work with me," said Lt. Gregory Archulet, director of technical training for ATRC. "Their positions here significantly contributed to their advancement. They manage an annual average of 550 Aegis technician students."
In fiscal year 2008, 43 Aegis fire controlmen were selected for chief petty officer, eight of those were Sailors stationed at ATRC.
"Whether I'm wearing just an anchor, one star, two stars or hopefully, three stars, I'm still a chief," Isbell said.
For more news from Center for Surface Combat Systems, visit www.navy.mil/local/cscs/.