ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) frocked 112 Sailors to their next paygrades during a ceremony in the ship's hangar bay, Dec. 2.
Iwo Jima promoted 48 Sailors to petty officer third class, 54 to petty officer second class, and 10 to petty officer first class.
Frocking ceremonies allow Sailors to assume the title and wear the uniform of the next rank before increased pay or other allowances kick in. The new rank appointment carries with it the obligation that each frocked Sailor exercise increased authority and willingly accept greater responsibility.
"I've been acting as a third class taking on responsibilities that no other fireman would do," said newly frocked Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Jessica Ramirez. "To me, it's just one step closer to being able to get a leadership position. I want to be that leader for my work center."
Newly frocked Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Christopher Poole also commented on his future career.
"I have a lot of time to make up because I joined the Navy a little later," said Poole. "I need to make first. I need to make chief."
Poole, who advanced during a cycle where 8 percent of hospital corpsman 3rd classes advanced, advised Sailors to take initiative in their career.
"I try not to leave my career in someone else's hands," said Poole. "I'm going to do everything I can in my power to put myself in the best position to pick up rank."
In addition to taking initiative, Ramirez recommended Sailors become involved in helping their shipmates.
"Protect your shipmates," said Ramirez. "Try to be there for them if they have any problems. Try to be a helping hand and be a team player."
Iwo Jima, components of the Iwo Jima Amphibious readiness group, and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting a Combined Composite Unit Exercise that is the culmination of training for the Navy-Marine Corps team and will certify them for deployment.
The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 26th MEU and is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), New York (LPD-21), the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and the embarked staff of PHIBRON 4.
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