USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Fifty-three chief petty officer selectees from the U.S. Navy's forward deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, and embarked staff, commander, Task Force (CTF) 70, were awarded the gold fouled anchor and advanced to the rank of chief petty officer in the ship's hangar bay, Sept. 16.
The gold-fouled anchor with a super imposed "USN" is a historical symbol of every U.S. Navy chief petty officer that symbolizes the unbreakable unity, undaunted service and navigation each chief is expected to provide to Sailors and their command.
"As the chief, every Sailor, no matter what rank, will look to [a chief] as the example," said George Washington's Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt. "It is your responsibility to figure out how to lead and motivate individuals to form one great team. Talk to and get to know your Sailors and they will get you to the next point."
One by one, each newly pinned chief petty officer received honors as they walked past their peers and were ceremoniously welcomed to the chief's mess with two bell strikes.
"It's very exciting to participate in this ceremony and acknowledge these fifty plus leaders," said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. "There's no other promotion in the armed forces like the promotion from first class petty officer to chief petty officer. Uniquely, it empowers and enables these men and women to be leaders, material managers and mentors to our junior officers."
For the newly capped and pinned chiefs, the ceremony marked the end of a journey and the beginning of their new roles as a chief petty officer.
"It's a big relief," said Chief Electrician's Mate Charles D. Clarke. "It's an amazing feeling that all the hard work has paid off. My family and my Sailors are proud of me and I am proud of myself. I've had great sponsors who helped push me through and get me to the end. It's all about Navy chiefs and Navy pride."
According to Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington's commanding officer, these 53 new chief petty officers are likely to be the first group to get pinned this year and this day marks an important and well-deserved milestone for each of them across the ship, CVW 5 and CTF 70.
George Washington and CVW 5 provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.