By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Yarborough, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs
Seven Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) were pinned with anchors and combination covers as they advanced to the rank of chief petty officer Sept. 16, 2018, in a promotion ceremony held on the ship’s flight deck.
The ceremony, held during the ship’s fall deployment, commemorated a significant milestone in the Sailors’ naval service, as their transition to chief petty officers marks their promotion to the rank of a senior non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy.
President Benjamin Harris issued an Executive Order 125 years ago creating the rank of chief petty officer. Today, chiefs are selected by a board of chiefs, senior chiefs, and master chiefs after first class petty officers show leadership potential, impressive records, and pass an advancement exam.
“These seven Sailors represent 98 years of collective, technical and professional experience that our Chiefs Mess stands to gain as they join our ranks today,” said Arleigh Burke’s Command Master Chief Jeanette Haffer. “They have been tried, tested, accepted, and stand ready to enter into one of the most exclusive ranks of the Navy and in military service.”
“The tone of a ship and the tone of service itself comes directly from the chief petty officer, more than from any group in the Navy,” said Capt. Errol Robinson, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke, as he summarized the 17 charges that a chief must carry out according to the Bluejackets Manual, 1918 edition. “You have the standard; live up to and you will find that those under you will be more inclined to do so as well.”
During the ceremony, the seven prospective chiefs marched in military formation while singing “Anchors Aweigh.” The highlight of the ceremony was the Sailors pinning on their fouled anchor collar devices and combination covers, marking the promotion to chief. A combination of mentors, fellow chief petty officers, and junior Sailors pinned the newly-minted chiefs.
“Overall, it was a very humbling and memorable experience that I’m very proud of,” said Chief Yeoman Ameyer Adams. “I gained a lot of insight and knowledge from the chiefs in the last couple of weeks. I wish my family was here to share this moment with me, but it felt good to have the support from the chiefs as well as having my junior guys pin my anchors.”
Arleigh Burke, the first ship in the class of Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers, is deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG). With the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as the flagship, deploying strike group assets include staffs, ships, and aircraft of CSG-8, Destroyer Squadron 28 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1.
Harry S. Truman CSG departed Norfolk for a scheduled deployment to support maritime security operations in support of U.S. national security interests in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.