USS Vandegrift Frocks Senior Chief Petty Officers

Senior Chief Engineman (SW/EXW) Paul A. Gurrola and Sonar Technician (Geographic) (SW) Joseph F. Hart, were frocked to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer June 5, during a ceremony aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) currently deployed to the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Having worked an entire career to earn a chief’s anchor, taking the next step to senior chief petty officer isn’t as simple as waiting to advance. Knowledge and hard work are required of any chief, but it takes a special kind of chief to be selected for a star.

“Being a senior chief takes a lot of understanding between the personal and professional,” said Hart. “Separating the two, along with all the knowledge gained throughout the ranks can make the difference between a chief and a senior chief. Your sailors need to be able to work with you and have strong guidelines put before them.”

Created June 1, 1958, the rank of senior chief has always had strong leadership requirements for selection. From the start, only chiefs with 10 years of naval service, of which four must have been as a chief, were eligible to test for selection. With selection to senior chief limited to 26 chiefs for engineman and 10 for sonar technician (geographic), the requirements in today’s ranks are just as stringent as they were 56 years ago.

Press Release, June 17, 2014; Image: US Navy

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