USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Twenty-eight first class petty officers aboard USS Harry S. Truman were selected to join the ranks of chief petty officer while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Aug. 11.
The new group of chief selectees consists of 17 Sailors from ship's company, 10 Sailors from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, and one Sailor from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10.
Any promotion in the Navy is an important jump in career growth and responsibility, but the advancement from first class to chief is one of the most prestigious promotions Sailors make in their career.
"It was kind of a shock," said Chief (select) Aviation Maintenance Administrationman AW/SW Askia Rahman from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37. "We are out here going full throttle all the time, and to find out I made chief during deployment is overwhelming. It's a little tough because my family has invested so much in my success, and they aren't here to share the moment with me."
The importance of family support resonated with many of the chief selects.
"I had a room full of shipmates with me when I found out, and we had a small celebration, but I left after five minutes to call my wife and let her know," said Chief (select) Hospital Corpsman SW/AW/FMF Michael Hauswirth. "It is tough to be selected when my family is not here to enjoy it with me because they played such a big part in my making it to this point."
The new chief selectees will receive five-weeks of training during which they will learn about their increased responsibilities and leadership expectations.
"We started training an hour and a half after the announcement," said Hauswirth. "Really, I'm still caught up in the moment of it all."
The transition from E-6 to E-7 is unique to the Navy, and denotes not only a Sailor who is technically proficient, but a leader who influences the Sailors and officers around them.
"I have an acronym that I tell all the new chiefs that lets them know how important their job is," said Chief Religious Programs Specialist (SW/AW/FMF) Terence Newton, leading chief petty officer for Truman's Command Religious Ministries Department. "C.H.I.E.F. – it stands for constantly helping impact everyone's future. We have an impact on everyone we run into. The ability to positively influence Sailors, even in negative situations, is our privilege and responsibility."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.