USS VICKSBURG, At Sea (NNS) -- Forty-four Sailors assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) were advanced to the next rank in a frocking ceremony on the ship's flight deck June 9.
The six first class, 15 second class and 23 third class petty officers were advanced from their previous ranks after attending a five-day petty officer indoctrination course.
"[The course] exposes them to a lot of different leadership styles," said Chief Cryptologic Technician (Mechanical) (SW) James J. Theis, who coordinates the petty officer indoctrination course. "They are expected to be ready. [The course] doesn't tell you what to do, it gives you the tools you need to build your own leadership style."
With new rank comes new responsibilities for Sailors aboard Vicksburg and they are expected to display a high level of professionalism.
"I am looking forward to added responsibility," said newly frocked Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Eric Askea. "I've been hoping to advance for awhile, so I am mentally prepared. I am looking forward to learning new things about my job and about leadership in general."
One of the challenges that faces Sailors who advance is being senior to those that were once their peers.
"A lot of people think that you just keep doing the same job for more money," said Askea. "It's more than that though, you take on more responsibility for your work and those you are junior to you."
Many of the Sailors advancing will feel that responsibility for the first time.
"This is my first taste of responsibility," said newly frocked Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Steven C. Pender. "This is really the first rank where you start to learn about leadership. I've been just doing what I'm told since I came into the Navy, but now I will be expected to make some decisions on my own."
Vicksburg is on its final deployment and is currently operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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