ARCTIC CIRCLE (NNS) -- Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile Aegis destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) participated in a ceremony to become “Blue Nose” Sailors, May 3, days after the ship crossed over the Arctic Circle.
The “Order of the Blue Nose” is a Navy tradition dictating that when Sailors cross into the Arctic Circle, they enter the realm of Boreas Rex, King of the North. The only way to be accepted into the order is to successfully complete his list of challenges.
Roosevelt Sailors worked to complete the various trials before requesting Boreas Rex, played by Roosevelt’s Command Master Chief James Kuroski and Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Hicks, deem them a “Blue Nose.”
"Completing the Blue Nose ceremony was an exhilarating experience for the body and mind and soul,” said Kuroski. “Operating above the Arctic Circle, where US Navy warships have not exercised in 30 years is an honor that is not lost on this crew.”
10 crew members designated “Blue Noses” from previous Arctic operations were integral in planning and leading the ceremony for their shipmates.
“Being able to carry on the traditions of the Navy and pass those down to junior Sailors who will do the same throughout their careers brings an overwhelming sense of pride for myself and the team that organized the ceremony," said Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Thomas A. Davis. "It was an inspiring time for me in my career to see such a small group of Sailors work together to plan and execute a ceremony that will be forever be remembered by over 300 Sailors.”
The Blue Nose ceremony is one of several Navy traditions marking unique locations Sailors have been. The tradition means a lot to the Sailors who participate and become part of the exclusive orders.
"Being in the Navy for over 19 years now, I have had the great pleasure of going through two glorious ceremonies roughly 18 years apart,” said Information Systems Technician First Class Russell T. Elliott. “The Shellback ceremony, though coveted in what goes on in that ceremony, has a small group of members as well as the Blue Nose.
"Now that I am both, I can say with great pride that I belong to two small groups in the Navy of brotherhood. [These ceremonies] bring the crew together as a family, and everyone now has a story to tell their children, grand-children, even great grand-children one day.”
During the ceremony, the crew completed tasks assigned by Boreas Rex and his subjects, and even included the ship in the ceremony as participants painted their names on the ship's bull nose.
"It was a really cool experience,” said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) Fireman Christian E. Griffith. “They had an obstacle course all set up, and at the end we were officially blue noses. We even got to sign the ship in blue paint."
“Team Roosevelt came together and met every challenge that Boreas Rex and his subjects presented with the competitive grace that speaks to the professionals that stand watch on these deck plates! We could not be more proud of each and every one of these outstanding Sailors." said Kuroski.
The ship’s presence in the Arctic Circle reinforced the United States’ commitment to regional security and stability, as well as the Navy’s ability to deploy to many different environments on short notice, and the value of having forward-deployed naval forces available to operate in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Roosevelt is on patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of regional allies and partners, and U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. Roosevelt will replace USS Carney (DDG 64) as one of four forward deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Spain.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.