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Navy Region Southeast Welcomes Three New Chief Petty Officers
17 October 2023
From LTJG Juan Santana & Jacob Sippel
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Navy Region Southeast welcomed three newly promoted chief petty officers during a pinning ceremony on board Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Sept. 29. Family members and friends watched as Chief Master-at Arms Joshua Abraham, Chief Navy Counselor Alejandrina Alonzo, and Chief Master-at-Arms Christopher Turrietta took center stage.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Navy Region Southeast welcomed three newly promoted chief petty officers during a pinning ceremony on board Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Sept. 29.
Family members and friends watched as Chief Master-at Arms Joshua Abraham, Chief Navy Counselor Alejandrina Alonzo, and Chief Master-at-Arms Christopher Turrietta took center stage.
After a six-week initiation period, the chiefs waited with anticipation to receive their fouled anchor insignia worn on their uniform collar. The ceremony also includes the "donning of the hat," where the chiefs’ mentors or family members placed their covers on their heads.
Force Master Chief Michael Roberts, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and director, U. S. Navy Hospital Corps was the guest speaker for the event. “Chief is more than just a name of our enlisted ranks. The word chief implies action, because we are just not a chief to our Sailors but we are the ‘chief,’” Roberts said.
Unlike other branches in the military, in order to become a chief petty officer and join the Navy’s senior enlisted leadership, chief selects take a six-week training course that focuses on shifting their priorities to become a servant leader for their Sailors. The training involved much self-reflection, learning and leading. The service members physically trained, took lessons in leadership and volunteered in the local community.
According to the Naval History and Heritage Command website, the chief petty officer, as recognized today, was officially established April 1, 1893, when the rank “petty officer first class” was shifted to “chief petty officer.” For 130 years, Navy chiefs have bridged the gap between officers and enlisted personnel, acting as supervisors as well as advocates for their Sailors.
“Reflect on what ‘you’ have learn from chiefs that have led you, I want you to think back and see what made a good chief and a bad chief, be the difference,” Roberts said. “Being the chief means leading from the deck plate. Being a chief means being a mentor for your Sailors, to train your Sailors for them to succeed in the careers and lives.”
Many of the selectees have led junior Sailors as the leading petty officer within their department. As chiefs, these Sailors learn to come together and perform as a cohesive unit. Stepping back from this leadership role and taking on a more supportive role can be a challenge.
“You will never have all the answers. That is OK, lean on the Chiefs’ Mess and they will get you the answers you need,” Roberts said. “Never stop learning, so we in turn can teach our junior Sailors, peers and officers. Your Sailor is your mission, I want you to remember that your mission as a leader is to develop and invest on our greatest and most lethal asset -- our ‘Sailors.”
Navy Region Southeast manages and oversees shore installation management support and execution for 18 installations within the Southeastern United States, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
CNRSE PAO OFFICE
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