USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) advanced 253 Sailors to petty officer 3rd class during a ceremony held in the ship's hangar bay, June 8.
Sailors were individually recognized by Capt. William C. Hamilton Jr., the commanding officer (CO) of Enterprise, and CMDCM(AW/SW) Dwayne E. Huff, the ship's command master chief (CMC).
Each Sailor received a frocking letter from the CO and a third class petty officer coin from the CMC.
As Enterprise continues its 22nd and final deployment, the newly-frocked Sailors will take on increased responsibility.
"As new (petty officers), the next step is understanding that they have a bigger level of responsibility," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Linda H. Gilmore. "Some of the things that they can do to prepare for the next months include getting with leadership for help regarding expectations, working with mentors, and having goals."
Many newly-frocked Sailors see the advancement to third class petty officer as a milestone in their naval careers.
"This is a huge step for all of us," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Douglas Meyer. "With the higher rank comes more responsibility. It's important that we remember that when we carry on our day-to-day jobs, that we set a good example for junior Sailors."
Along with the increased responsibility, the new petty officers will be tasked with educating junior Sailors so they also advance in rank.
Many of the Sailors who advanced spent long hours studying rate-specific material for the exam. However, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Edward Witherspoon attributes his promotion to having leadership that took the time to better him as a Sailor.
"It feels amazing to accomplish this," said Witherspoon. "I could not have done it without having strong leadership and an awesome mentor."
All of the Sailors who were frocked underwent a two-day Petty Officer Selectee Indoctrination Leadership Course during the past week where they learned what they can expect and what is expected of them now that they are petty officers.
"It feels great being able to finally put on a crow," said Meyer. "It shows me that hard work and dedication really do pay off."
Enterprise is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.