Groton Chief's Mess Builds Tomorrow's Leaders

Story Number: NNS120807-18Release Date: 8/7/2012 9:39:00 PM
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By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Commander, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- This year's announcement of the 2012 active-duty chief petty officer selection board results, released on July 31, marks not only the beginning of this year's induction season, but the proud history and heritage of becoming a Chief in the U.S. Navy.

"This is all about training and transition. We are totally focused on development of our first class petty officers and ensuring they are ready to enter the chief's mess when the day comes. Induction is simply the final phase of our CPO 365 program," said Command Master Chief Wesley Koshoffer, Submarine Group Two. "Induction is about the transition and ensuring they are ready for the unique responsibilities they are bound to and expected to fulfill once they enter the Mess."

During the six-week induction season in Groton, selectees will participate in physical-fitness training, mentoring opportunities and learn about their new responsibilities they will soon assume when their fouled anchors are placed on their uniforms and they don their combination covers. This will occur during an official ceremony known as a "pinning".

Sixty-nine Sailors from several commands located at Naval Submarine Base New London will be advanced to chief during their pinning ceremonies scheduled for mid-September. Koshoffer reflected on how families play a huge role in the chief induction season.

"We scheduled an induction season barbeque to not only recognize these future chiefs, but to welcome their families," said Koshoffer. "Both the Sailor and his or her family are both entering the Chief's Mess and we want to make sure they are welcomed and feel a part of the process. We make a dedicated effort to ensure we provide support to the families during this transition and even sponsor specific briefs and meetings to work with them."

One of the 69 Sailors to advance to chief petty officer is Culinary Specialist First Class (SS/DV) Allen Williford.

"When I found out I made it, it was really exciting," said Williford. "It really hasn't sunk in yet."

Williford's mother who lives in Tulsa, Okla., is expected to attend the chief pinning ceremony in mid-September.

Koshoffer also stressed the idea that induction should be a transparent process.

"We are proud of the work we are doing with our newest chiefs and our first class petty officers year round. We are encouraging command leadership teams and wardrooms to participate in this process with us. We have kept the best parts of tradition and are committed to honoring our heritage while ensuring that every event is a value added training opportunity," said Koshoffer.

The rank of chief petty officer was established by the Department of the Navy in 1893 and has remained in the service without pause ever since.

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