By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lyle Wilkie, USS New York (LPD 21) Public Affairs
The Chief Petty Officers (CPO) Mess aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) celebrated the 125th Chief Petty Officer (CPO) birthday April 1, 2018.
Prior to April 1, 1893, chief was a title assigned by the commanding officers to the most senior first class petty officer in each rate. President Benjamin Harrison first established the rank of chief petty officer on Feb. 23, 1893, through General Order 409, which came into effect on April 1, 1893.
“Being a chief is an honor. It is an accomplishment that I cherish each and every day,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate William Dahn, heritage committee lead aboard New York. “Especially knowing that you are the person everyone looks to for guidance, not just the Sailors in your immediate chain of command, but all Sailors.”
Chief Machinist Mate Stephen Webber, the youngest chief aboard, and Master Chief Information System Technician Donald Jarret, the oldest chief aboard, performed the traditional cake cutting during a celebratory dinner in the Chiefs Mess.
The CPO Mess invited Capt. Todd Vandergrift, commanding officer of New York, Capt. Brent DeVore, prospective commanding officer of New York, Capt. Pete Kennedy, executive officer of New York, and all former chiefs to enjoy the ceremony.
“The responsibilities and privileges of a chief don't exist in print, but only exist because of the example set by chiefs who have gone before us,” said New York’s Command Master Chief Ben Hodges. “The Chiefs Mess is the only place you have to earn your right to join through years of professional development and hard work. We are required to be the fountain of wisdom, the ambassador of good will and the authority on personal relations and technical applications. Today we pause to celebrate those who have earned the hat and remember that we are charged with earning it every day. ”
New York, homeported in Mayport, Florida, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and includes the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), New York, the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team 4 and 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staff of commander, Amphibious Squadron 4.