PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Hawaii-based chief petty officers commemorated the 119th birthday of the CPO rank, April 1-2.
The Hawaii CPO mess kicked off the Year of the Chief commemoration with a CPO Deckplate Leadership Run on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, an observation of evening colors at USS Missouri Memorial and a cake-cutting ceremony at the U.S. Pacific Fleet boat house.
The CPO community Navywide celebrated the 119th birthday of the CPO rank, which has provided deckplate leadership to the Navy since April 1, 1893. There are about 1,600 CPOs stationed in Hawaii.
During the traditional cake cutting ceremony the chiefs brought out Command Master Chief Bob Crossno and Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF) Chat Rice as the oldest and youngest chiefs respectively in attendance. The two chiefs cut the commemorative cake.
Crossno, who has been in the Navy for more than 20 years, said that the best advice he can give to any chief and to any would-be chief is to maintain the "not on my watch" mentality.
"Not on my watch am I going to let a Sailor go astray," said Crossno. "Not on my watch am I going to fail on my command. Not on my watch am I going to lose my integrity or my honesty and I will always maintain my courage and commitment."
Rice, who is assigned to Naval Health Clinic Hawaii, has been in the Navy for about 12 years, but she has been a chief for only a year.
"Being a chief means a whole lot to me," said Rice. "I am very grateful for the Sailors who have worked so hard alongside me and for my mentors who always kept me in line with what I wanted to become in the Navy. When we call each other brother or sister, we just don't say it for the sake of saying it. It really means caring about each other and helping each other."
Chief Utilitiesman (SCW) Shane Daniel Ouimette, assigned to Naval Facilities Hawaii, said the best part of being a chief is capturing the look on Sailors faces when they succeed in meeting a goal that we have set for them.
"Hanging out with my brethren is the most fun I have had in my entire life," said Ouimette. "You will not meet anyone in any other organization that is more willing to call you family than a fellow member of the United States Chief Petty Officers mess."
Ouimette has been in the Navy for more than 20 years and he has been a chief since 2007.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.