USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- This year aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) 32 Sailors donned khaki uniforms and chief petty officer (CPO) combination covers for the first time during a chief pinning ceremony Sept. 16.
The chiefs' pinning ceremony is a Navy tradition, which dates back to when the CPO pay-grade was created in 1893. The ceremony signifies these Sailors are ready to take on the additional responsibilities of a chief petty officer.
"I think it is an honor to be selected to such a prestigious rank," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Handling](AW/SW) Lennis Herd. "There is a lot of history and tradition that comes along with the rank. It is truly an honor to be a part of that." Every new chief has their own unique view point on what becoming a chief means to them.
"My father is a retired chief," said Herd. "To me, becoming a chief means carrying on a legacy, carrying on that Navy tradition."
"Being a chief to me is a culmination of 10 years," said Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW/ FMF) Dusty Webb. "My primary goal is to mentor and train junior Sailors. This is a point in my career where I can finally give back."
Putting on anchors for the first time is perhaps the most important moment in a Sailor's career. "The uniform is not the uniform without the anchors," said Webb. "When we marched out to the ceremony initially, we were not wearing the anchors. You're not a chief until you are wearing those anchors."
"It was a good feeling," said Herd. "The anchors I had for the pinning were actually my dad's anchors that he wore as a chief. My dad passed away last August, and when I put them on for the first time I felt like I was living up to his dream as well."
The pinning served as the final stage of the six-week CPO induction period that all chief selects throughout the Navy must go through before they can officially become chief petty officers.
"It is a process that is designed to change your thought process," said Webb. "It focuses on how you are perceived and how you approach certain situations. They want to take you out of that E-6 [first class petty officer] mind frame and make you a chief."
These new chiefs are among the best leaders Truman has to offer. Their decisions and actions as chiefs will help mold the future of the Navy.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.