By Amanda Rae Moreno
Sailors from various commands at Naval Support Activity Mid-South donned khaki uniforms, combination covers, and fouled anchor collar devices for the first time during a Chief Petty Officer pinning ceremony last Friday.
The chiefs’ pinning ceremony is a tradition unique to the Navy and dates back to the foundation of the chief petty officer rank created in 1893. The ceremony signifies a new position of increased leadership and responsibility.
“Your transition today was years in the making,” said Capt. Michael S. Wathen, commanding officer, NSA Mid-South. “This ceremony validates you as a subject matter expert in your field; but more importantly as a leader dedicated to your Sailors.”
Families of the 39 new chiefs were invited to place the gold fouled anchors on their Sailor’s collars during the ceremony while each chief’s sponsor placed the khaki combination cover on them for the first time.
Master Chief Hospital Corpsman was the guest speaker at the event and spoke to the selectees about the new responsibility and dedication to the Navy that each is charged with now as both leaders and advisors.
The transition from the rank E6 to E7 is especially important in the Navy compared to other military branches as servicemembers make the transition from petty officer to chief.
The 39 Sailors were advanced as the final stage Chief Initiation. This year’s chief petty officer training focused on the United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Creed as part of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy’s Laying the Keel: Developing the Backbone of Our Navy guidance on training and developing Navy enlisted leadership.
“Over the last few weeks, we have been training our reliefs,” said Command Master Chief Marilyn Kennard, NSA Mid-South. “By focusing on The Creed, we have instilled and trained them with unique values and beliefs necessary to effectively succeed. I am confident that our new Chiefs will be able to grow towards a culture of humility, trust, and loyalty that our Navy needs.”