NORFOLK (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) welcomed 28 of the Navy's newest chief petty officers (CPO) during a ceremony in the hangar bay Sept. 14.
Fleet Master Chief (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC), who served as guest speaker, offered his congratulations and emphasized the significance of becoming a chief.
"The induction season is demanding on our new chiefs and the entire CPO mess," said Stevens. "Good CPOs have immeasurable value to their commands and to the communities which they reside in. They have a legacy to fulfill as the Navy's mentors and elite leaders."
After completing the induction process, newly pinned CPOs become an integral part of that tradition and legacy.
"I've been striving toward this milestone my entire career," said Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Shawn Nady. "Now I have reached it with the help of my Sailors and the support of my Sailors. Chiefs must lead from the front and guide their Sailors."
After six challenging weeks of induction, culminating at the pinning ceremony, the new CPOs had a better understanding of what it means to be the chief.
"Everyone always says, 'Ask the Chief'," said Chief Logistics Specialist (AW/SW/EXW) April Starr. "I am the person they will come to for guidance and support. It's going to be my job to know the answers, or to find the answers for my Sailors. I can help them make the right choices and give them advice based on Navy regulations and my experience."
Following the ceremony, newly-appointed chiefs celebrated with their family, friends and sponsors.
"The induction process was challenging, but it was worth it," said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (AW/SW) Rion Parker. "It taught us humility, and it definitely teaches us teamwork and that the chief's mess is a family."
The CPO pinning ceremony is a tradition unique to the Navy, which dates back to 1893, when the chief petty officer pay grade was created. The ceremony signifies a new position of leadership and responsibility.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.