MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Four 1st Class Petty Officers aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) were frocked to chief petty officer (CPO) during a ceremony held Sept. 14.
"To be selected, tested, initiated, and accepted is probably the best thing that has happened so far in my career," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Ebonee Jarrell. “It is a very humbling experience to go through this whole process."
Chief pinning dates back to 1893, when the chief petty officer pay-grade was created. Chiefs don the khaki uniform of Navy leaders, serving as mentors to all Sailors and subject-matter experts in their respective fields. The chief rate is unique amongst the armed forces, commanding a special level of respect and new found level of responsibility.
“As a 1st class, I think we all felt we were ready to be a chief, then the process starts and you realize you have a long way to go to really get to where you need to be,” said Chief Fire Controlman Christopher Campbell.
The ceremony represents the conclusion of their training to facilitate the transition from 1st class petty officers to chief petty officers. The Chiefs Mess provided year-round training to all Sailors through Sailor 360 but, CPO indoctrination is a unique training offered only to those who have earned the promotion to chief.
“You go through a lot,” said Chief Machinist's Mate Herminio Bravo. “It puts you in places you have never been before as a person, as a Sailor, as a role model, and as a leader, but it definitely brings the best out of you and it was a great time doing it.”
The pinning ceremony began with the future chiefs marching while singing Anchors Aweigh, symbolizing the Navy pride and unity that comes with their new title and rank.
New York's Commanding Officer Capt. Brent DeVore started the ceremony by giving the selectees the four things he needs from them.
"Be courageous. We are going to put you in some really tough spots before your career is over, all I can ask is that you do the right thing," said DeVore. "Be colorful, all of us need the mentoring, the guidance, and the experience that you can share with us to make us better. I also need you to be colorful to brighten the lives of your Sailors. You never know how much the attention and the moment of caring about your Sailors is going to brighten their lives and make all the difference in the world. I need you to be constant. You have got to be the beacon for doing things the right way…Finally, be committed. At this point you must be all in. There is no going back; there is no half measures. Every day you must continue to earn your anchors."
New York’s Command Master Chief, Ben Hodges, also took the time to address the new chiefs entering into the Chiefs Mess.
"You are required to be the fountain of wisdom, the ambassador of good will, the authority of personal relationships as well as technical application,” said Hodges “It was our intention that you never forget this day. It was our intention to test you, to try you, and accept you. Your performance has ensured us that you will wear the hat with the same pride as the comrades in arms before you.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Tandra Walker read the Chief Petty Officer’s Creed before inviting the new chiefs and their special guests into the Chiefs Mess to celebrate.
New York, homeported in Mayport, Fl, has recently completed planned maintenance following a six month deployment to U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
For more news from USS New York (LPD 21), visit www.navy.mil/local/LPD21/ or http://www.facebook.com/ussnewyorklpd21/?refequalsts/.