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Around The Fleet

Anchored Together:

Military spouses earn chief anchors together

For chief petty officer selectees, completing their extensive six-week Navy and chief heritage training is reason enough for celebration, but to complete the process alongside a husband or wife is a special event not often seen during CPO 365 Phase II.

However, that's exactly what happened in Pearl Harbor Sept. 16, when Chief (select) Legalman Belinda Hall received her gold fouled anchors alongside her husband, Gunnery Sgt. Corey Hall.

The success of my career could not have happened without my family's continuous support and understanding, especially from my husband and my three beautiful daughters." LNC Belinda Hall

"If not for my husband's support, I would not have been able to continue my career. He has truly been my foundation, friend and mentor," said Hall.
Three photo collage of LNC Hall (L-R) pinning anchors; ceremony; placing of her chief cover.

Though participating in the Phase II process in Hawaii, Hall is stationed aboard aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in San Diego and needed to gain special approval from her chain of command to participate in Pearl Harbor. She completed the majority of her Phase II training at her command, which she admitted to being a challenging process. However, she credited her husband with always being there to support, even from afar.

"My Phase II process began while the USS [Carl] Vinson was underway and it was tough," said Hall. "During the underway, there were long days with little to no communication, other than a daily email. Logging on to my computer and seeing an email from my husband kept me motivated, because no matter how long or tough his day was, he took the time to write me and give me words of encouragement that everything we were going through would be worth it in the end."

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Hawaii, Gunnery Sgt. Hall was feeling many of the same challenges his wife was enduring during her training. Due to the CPO 365 training program being exclusive to the Navy, Gunnery Sgt. Hall had to submit a request through his chain of command to participate in the Phase I and II cycles. His senior enlisted leader ultimately provided him the opportunity that which, in the end, reunited him with his wife.

I would always see how the [first class petty officers] would come back from Phase II as a chief, with more confidence and a kind of swagger about them." -Gunnery Sgt. Hall

"When I got to the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 here in Hawaii, my senior enlisted leader asked if I would be interested. I told him I would and he explained the process and what I needed to do," said Gunnery Sgt. Hall.

Gunnery Sgt. Hall said despite being a part of a process exclusive to the Navy, the chief selectees from his command helped acclimate him to the Phase I and II training evolutions. The long days of team-building events, community relations projects and guidance on deckplate leadership weren't as challenging as the time he had to spend away from his daughters and his wife.

"Going through the process together with her was tough for the first week or so," admitted Gunnery Sgt. Hall. "We never talked, but I understood how busy she was because I was super busy myself. With us both going through it, I would think of her during the tough times and remind myself that it wasn't about me. You will be challenged throughout your career and your life, so who better to weather the hard times than the one you chose to spend the difficult moments of your life with."

That perseverance finally paid off for both when they finally pinned each other's gold-fouled anchors to each other's collar at the end of their latest journey. Whether they were an ocean apart or training right next to each other, the Halls knew they had each other's support every step of the way.

Hall hopes other service members, regardless of which branch they work for, understand the importance of having a supportive spouse during their Phase II process.
Three photo collage of the Hall family (L-R) pinning ceremony; family photo; Gunnery Sgt. Hall during CPO 365.

Being dual military is not easy, regardless of what branch you serve with. It's important to be supportive of your spouse's heritage and tradition, and most of all, be fascinated about everything they do." -LNC Hall

"If there is any way for you to be involved in the branch your spouse serves with, do it!" Hall said. "For those who are not dual military, help your spouse or significant other understand what you do and the importance of their support through this process."

CPO 365 is a year-round training initiative Chiefs Messes throughout the Navy take on to prepare petty officers first class to become chiefs. Phase II of CPO 365 begins when the chief petty officer selection board results are released, usually in the month of August.