USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- Enlisted leadership aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 showed their appreciation to their "right-hand persons" last week, by pulling back the curtain to the chief petty officers' (CPO) mess for a special dinner.
Carl Vinson's departmental leading chief petty officers authorized the Right-Hand Person Dinner, which according to "Gold Eagle" Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Rick Rose, doubled as a means to provide motivation toward advancement and to boost morale.
Each senior enlisted service member invited one hard charger. Most supervisor's chose their guests for their ability to self-motivate and think independently.
Guests ranged from well-seasoned petty officers to low-level junior enlisted.
"Junior people sometimes get overlooked," said Senior Chief Yeoman (AW/SCW) Katayna Moore, Helicpoter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 8 Admin Department's leading chief petty officer (LCPO), who brought Yeoman 3rd Class Lakesha Morris. "My third class is my right-hand person ... my sidekick. She knows how to think and plan ahead."
With less than a year of service tucked away, Chaplain Department's Airman Apprentice Randy Hansen said he was very happy to join his LCPO, Chief Religious Programs Specialist (SW/AW/FMF) Craig Tilley, at the special dinner.
Tilley chose Hansen for his great attitude and work ethic, and said he "doesn't know how the ship would stay afloat without Hansen."
The young airman admits leaving the dinner with a "Stay Navy" attitude, echoing the occasion's intent.
"It's a nice break from what I'm used to," said Hansen. "I definitely plan to reenlist."
Thirty-four Sailors and Marines from the CPO mess spent a week planning and preparing for the evening, to ensure the dinner's 4 p.m. start was met with a relaxing atmosphere.
"We created a special menu and used a specific decor to establish the proper mood," said Mess Management Specialist First Class (SW) Anthony Dee, CPO mess leading petty officer.
There was slow and up-beat music mixed with laughter and compliments from nearly 700 guests, as Mess Management 2nd Class (AW) Ricardo Imbuido, galley supervisor, and his crew fed the hungry "hard chargers." They prepared more than 400 pounds of prime rib, 100 pounds of salmon and 200 pounds of chicken. Saving the best for last, Sailors and Marines enjoyed ice cream, Dutch-apple pie and a chocolate cake specially decorated with a frosting sea serpent.
Imbuido admits feeling some extra pressure to create a more elaborate setting for the dinner's guests, but said teamwork made it happen. He also said participating in an event used to motivate his shipmates for further advancement was an honor.
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed in the western Pacific as part of America's standing commitment to maintain peace, stability, and theater security cooperation, in coordination with allies and friends in the region.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70.