SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) frocked more than 200 of its newest petty officers during a ceremony in the hangar bay, Dec. 6.
Carl Vinson Commanding Officer, Capt. Matthew Paradise, presided over the ceremony while the aircraft carrier was moored at Naval Air Station North Island and presented each Sailor with a frocking letter, officially recognizing their new rank.
The Carl Vinson Sailors were among more than 21,000 personnel Navywide who promoted to the ranks of petty officer third, second and first class during the 2018 fall advancement cycle.
Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Juanita Rea, a maintainer in Carl Vinson’s reactor department, said she was thrilled to advance from seaman to petty officer.
“I feel like all of the hard work has finally paid off,” said Rea.
For many of the newly-frocked Sailors, the ceremony was the culmination of hard work and represented a significant step forward in their careers.
“This is truly a milestone,” said Chief Culinary Specialist David Wade, who had five of his Sailors recognized at the ceremony. “Coming from a chief of 16 years, this is not a road easily traveled. I want to congratulate all of the newly-minted petty officers on a job well done.”
In the Navy, a frocked Sailor is authorized to wear the rank of the next highest pay grade, but they do not receive pay for that rank until their official date of promotion.
According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, this tradition dates back to as early as 1802, when officers wore knee-length frock coats as part of their uniform. When there was a vacancy out at sea, a junior officer would be given the frock coat and the responsibilities of the next highest rank. However, they were not officially promoted until the Department of the Navy gave official approval. The term did not appear in official Navy documents until 1974.
For Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Octavia Alston-Wilson, being frocked means more than just crows and chevrons: it means following in the footsteps of those who came before her.
“We will become Carl Vinson’s next generation of leaders,” said Alston-Wilson. “I look forward to hitting the ground running.”
For more news from USS Carl Vinson CVN 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/CVN70/.