The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) promoted 34 first class petty officers to chief petty offficer (CPO) during a ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Sept. 13.
The ceremony is the culmination of the CPO 365 program and the first time the new CPOs are authorized to wear their khaki uniform, combination cover and gold-fouled anchors.
“To finally put on my anchors today, feels like a long time coming” said Chief Culinary Specialist Michael Farmer, from Yakima, Wash. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for 16 years, and it feels good.”
Stennis Sailors and family members filled the bleachers at the base gym to observe the time-honored tradition.
Stennis’ commanding officer, Capt. Michael Wettlaufer, spoke during the ceremony, expressing the importance of successful mentorship and training throughout a Sailor’s career.
“The season of the chief development process doesn’t start when the selectee is announced, it starts at the first command when that Sailor checks on board,” said Wettlaufer. “I look forward to seeing the newly pinned chief petty officers increase power of excellence and continued leadership aboard USS John C. Stennis.”
With 19 years in the Navy, Chief Boatswain’s Mate Corey Broadnax was planning on retiring next year if not for finally achieving his goal of becoming a chief petty officer.
“If you have a dream, don’t give up on it because anything is possible” said Broadnax, from Memphis, Tenn.”
Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
Press Release, September 16, 2013; Image: US Navy