Two hundred and eighty Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) were advanced to their next rank during a frocking ceremony held at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton gym Dec. 5.
Stennis’ commanding officer Capt. Michael Wettlaufer reminded every newly frocked petty officer to embrace their new leadership responsibilities and make the most of every day.
“I need you to lead your Sailors every day,” said Wettlaufer. “What you do today effects our operations tomorrow.”
While the newly frocked petty officers will wear the rank of the next higher pay grade, they will not receive their pay raise until officially promoted, which occurs in three increments a year.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Joseph Payne, from Jacksonville, Fla., who was frocked in the ceremony, was eager to assume the new responsibilities that come with becoming a new petty officer.
“I’m excited because it feels good to receive the responsibility and trust that comes with being a petty officer,” said Payne. “It is a great opportunity to show I can get the job done.”
Many Sailors credited their advancement to the continued support of the command and their fellow Sailors.
“It would have been very difficult to pass the exam without the support of my peers and supervisors,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 3rd Class Jonte Johnson, from Miami, Fla. “They were always there to give me the tools I needed to succeed and the encouragement to study.”
Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
Press Release, December 06, 2013; Image: US Navy