USS RONALD REGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Two-hundred and forty-seven of the Navy's petty officers received promotions during a frocking ceremony, May 26, aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
The ship left San Diego, May 19, on a scheduled Western Pacific deployment.
For Culinary Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Matthew Siteman, the frocking ceremony was the culmination of a long journey.
"Starting out as an E-1 was a blessing for me," Siteman said. "It allowed me to get a lot of fleet experience and on-the-job training. That experience only helped me when I took the advancement test."
Siteman is one of 149 Sailors aboard making the transition from seaman to petty officer. In addition, Ronald Reagan promoted 86 new second class petty officers and 12 first class petty officers.
Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Aaron McKnight advanced on his first try.
"It was a little surreal at first to be honest," McKnight said. "I studied real hard for this test and to see it pay off like this is amazing."
Reagan's Commanding Officer, Capt. Ken Norton explained,
"This is the favorite part of my job," Norton said. "I love to promote Sailors. This is a great milestone in their careers."
Norton stressed that with a promotion comes increased accountability.
"It means more money in their pocket and more responsibility," Norton said. "It also means that we are going to expect a lot more out of you."
Siteman has already set goals for this deployment and beyond.
"I plan on making E-5 in a year," he said. "I'm going to use this cruise to get all of my qualifications and improve myself as a person and as a Sailor."
McKnight will have added responsibilities now that he has a second chevron. "I'm looking forward to working with more people," he said. "I'm going to be in charge of a work center now, and I need to make sure everything runs smoothly."
Hard work paid dividends to these well-deserving Sailors.
"As long as you take the time to study and put your nose to the grindstone, you can advance quickly," Siteman said.
For more news from USS Ronald Reagan, visit, www.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.