USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Chief petty officers (CPO) assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) held a ceremony celebrating the 119th birthday of the Chief Petty Officers, April 1, while underway in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
The celebration provided the chiefs' mess with an opportunity to come together to honor, celebrate and learn about the history of the CPO rank.
"Today we gather here to pay homage to 119 years of the chief petty officer," said Senior Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Mark Farley. "What better place than the chiefs' mess aboard USS Enterprise as she sails on her final deployment defending freedom and our way of life."
Chiefs from all departments gathered to listen to the words of Rear Adm. Ted Carter, commander, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, recollecting time he spent learning from the chief's mess.
"Chief petty officers have been influencing me since the first day I put on a uniform," said Carter, an honorary Master Chief Petty Officer.
Carter was given this honorary title by former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Joe Campa.
"As I went from my days as a midshipman and got into my field in aviation, I was always surrounded by chiefs," said Carter. "That really helped me understand how important it was for leadership to talk to young Sailors and how to get them to understand what it is that you're trying to say to them."
Farley then reflected on the combination of the history of ships to bear the name Enterprise, and the chiefs who served aboard them.
"On our 25th birthday, [the sixth ship named] Enterprise was patrolling the seas during World War I," said Farley. "On our 50th birthday, [the seventh] Enterprise (CV 6) destroyed the remainder of the Japanese Navy in the South Pacific. She would later become the most decorated ship of World War II."
He then reminded the mess that as this history was being made, chiefs were present, just as they have been throughout the last 119 years; leading, mentoring and training.
"The importance of an Enterprise chief remembering the CPO Birthday is not what is important," said Enterprise Command Master Chief Eric. J. Young. "It is more important for us, the Mess, to remember what it means to be a chief. 'Why do we do what we do? Why do we mentor, lead, manage, and train?' We do it because it is in us to make the Sailors around us better than they would have ever thought they could be. As chiefs, when our Sailors are better, we the chiefs are better. When the Chiefs are at their best, then Enterprise will always be the best warship on the waterfront. We remember and celebrate success as chiefs on the CPO birthday."
During the Enterprise celebration, Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Marilyn Ferguson also read the birthday message written by MCPON Rick West for the chiefs of the entire U.S. Navy, and participants wrapped up the event with a cake-cutting ceremony.
Enterprise is underway conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
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