BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) frocked nearly 300 new petty officers during a ceremony in the ship's hangar bay, Nov. 30.
Frocking is a naval tradition authorizing Sailors selected for advancement to wear the uniform and assume the responsibilities of the next higher rank prior to their official promotion date.
Capt. Greg Huffman, John C. Stennis' commanding officer, congratulated each of the 273 petty officers with a handshake while presenting them with their frocking letter in front of the gathered crew, friends and family.
"It was a great experience to be a part of the ceremony," said newly frocked Damage Controlman 3rd Class Daniel Shepherd, from Cincinnati. "Besides studying a lot, I would credit a lot of my advancement to the other third class petty officers that I work with; they taught me most of what I know."
Promotions are based on a combination of job performance and scores on advancement exams.
"If I could give anyone advice on how to advance I would tell them to work hard," said newly frocked Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Wenhao Tong, from Qing Dao, China. "Studying can and will take you far but knowing your job inside and out will help you advance, too."
For some Sailors, the excitement hasn't slowed down since they were first aware of their advancement.
"I was really excited when I heard my name over the 1MC," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Ashley Fiedler, from Holdrege, Nebraska. "I wasn't sure how well I did on the exam so when I heard my name I was really happy and I almost cried. Today was great and I was glad to be a part of the ceremony."
After the ceremony, the newly frocked petty officers spent time with friends and family taking photos, exchanging handshakes and hugs before heading back to their departments ready to take on their new roles.
John C. Stennis is in port conducting routine training as it continues preparing for its next scheduled deployment.
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