WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Surrounded by water from the Seven Seas, shipmates and family members watched the Naval District Washington chief selectees don their Chief's anchors in a ceremony Sept. 14 at the Navy Memorial.
Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mark Ferguson, presided over the ceremony and challenged the newest Chief Petty Officers to continue the proud tradition of leadership their predecessors have established.
"As a new Chief you join the ranks of an elite group that celebrates more than 100 years of service to our Navy. We expect you to uphold our traditions and ethos and make the second 100 years of the chief even better than the first," said Ferguson.
For CPO selectees, the pinning ceremony is the culmination of 365 days of training driven by MCPON's CPO 365 charter and six weeks of the CPO induction process. This is a rigorous training schedule involving physical training, leadership, teamwork, time management, and U.S. naval heritage to enable first class petty officers leadership growth.
"Nothing was handed to them these past six weeks, except opportunities," explained Command Master Chief John Hall, Naval Support Activity Washington CMC. "The opportunity to make something more of themselves, to learn to grow, and to lead. I'm happy to say that they seized that opportunity."
There was a range of emotion on display for the new Chiefs and their families and shipmates.
"While it is the Chiefs that we honor and celebrate today, it is our families, our mentors, our friends who give this day meaning. Take a deep breath, look at the faces of those around you and remember those who helped you reach this day. And that will be the most enduring memory you have as time goes by," said Ferguson.
Appropriate these Chiefs wear their anchors for the first time under the watchful eye of the Lone Sailor statue, a representation of the Sailors they are charged with leading.
"What I expect from you is unimpeachable integrity and conduct above reproach, technical expertise and professional excellence, and lastly humility. Humility in that today you rededicate yourself to a life of service to your community, to your Sailors, to your family and to the commands which you will go forth and lead," Ferguson added.