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Ronald Reagan Commanding Officer Capt. Fred Goldhammer said the Chief Petty Officer initiation process is not designed to weed out the weakest link, but rather it is a personal journey for each new chief about the gravity of their new leadership responsibilities.
“They’re reminded to never forget where they came from, why they each raised their right hand to accept the heavy burden of doing that which is necessary to defend our nation,” said Goldhammer. “They’re reminded of how each of us are not infallible as leaders. They’re reminded that leadership is a team sport and the importance of right and wrong … so that the whole of our Navy’s leadership team is greater than the sum of its individual parts.”
The newly promoted chiefs joined their new peers to celebrate the completion of a successful initiation process as they received their anchors and donned their iconic combination covers.
“What it takes to be a chief is you have to be a great person, know when to do the right thing, know when to speak up [and] be the subject matter expert within your field,” Chief Machinery Repairman Michael Gilder said. “Don’t just exist within your field; understand you have to help out where you’re needed everywhere else.”
In front of their friends and family, the new chiefs humbly took their place in a 128-year tradition of leadership and sacrifice that is the hallmark of the Navy Chief Petty Officer.
“At the end of the day there is a bond, and that bond is when we have to get down to business and we have to lead,” said Command Master Chief Chris King. “Sleeves get rolled up and we do what we have to do for long hours and late nights because it matters. The Sailors and their families, they matter. The officers we serve are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, it matters.”
Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, and supports alliances, partnerships and collective maritime interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
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