Chief Petty Officers (CPO) aboard submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) celebrated 119 years of Navy chiefs with a ceremony aboard ship, April 1.
The ship’s chiefs took a group photo on the quarterdeck before heading to the chiefs’ mess for a cake cutting and to hear Command Master Chief(SS) James Willis read Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy(SS/SW) Rick West’s annual CPO birthday message.
“This chiefs’ mess is one of the finest I’ve had the pleasure to work with, and I believe the hands-on leadership and guidance they display is what makes our crew so strong,” added Willis.
This celebration marked an important milestone for Chief Hull Technician(SW) Lucas Pawlowski, who was selected to chief last September. “It’s the greatest feeling, to celebrate my first birthday as a chief surrounded by my peers and mentors who helped get me to this point. To me, being a chief means becoming part of the real backbone and driving force of the Navy.”
The position and role of the chief petty officer is unique in the armed forces. As Chief Master-at-Arms(SW/AW) Marc Lucas explains, earning the fouled anchors of a chief carries special meaning and recognition of deckplate leadership.
“Chiefs make the Navy run,” he explains. “My selection to chief meant the world to me. It meant the Navy and my peers felt that I was ready to be a senior enlisted leader. The anchors on my collar don’t belong to me; they belong to my Sailors. I represent them, and throughout all my accomplishments in the Navy, knowing I can lead and mentor Sailors is the greatest feeling of all.”
Emory S. Land, homeported in Diego Garcia, is on an extended deployment in Guam to temporarily relieve USS Frank Cable (AS 40) as the primary afloat maintenance activity in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
Naval Today Staff , April 03, 2012; Image: navy