By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
New chief petty officers from the Naples area donned their gold fouled anchors in front of family, friends and the Naples community during a pinning ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples, Sept. 14, 2018.
The pinning ceremony is a time-honored tradition during which new chief petty officers are officially accepted into the Chiefs Mess.
Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, attended the ceremony and addressed the new chiefs.
"These young men and women have gone through a ritualistic process,” said Foggo. “Rituals tell our story and create a legacy. Rituals make the intangible real. They're now ready to be ordained as chief petty officers in the United States Navy."
Foggo, who was made an honorary chief petty officer in August 2017, went on to challenge the new leaders to uphold tradition and leave their legacy.
“Every one of you has a charge book, and in that charge book people have written critical advice, criticisms, they have written enthusiastic advice, they've given you recommendations, they've given you guidance, they told you anecdotes and stories and they filled a large part of that book with their lives and their lessons learned,” said Foggo. “But then at the end, there's some empty pages, and the rest of those pages are blank waiting to be filled. It's over to you. It's your time. Fill up those pages. Be the best you can be. What will your legacy be?”
The new chiefs had their anchors pinned on by family members and friends, while their sponsor during the induction process, placed the combination covers on their head.
"The feeling I felt was something that I have never felt before,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Leroy Manning. “I had feelings of excitement and humbleness. I will always continue to learn and I look forward for the opportunity to continue leading all that cross my path."
This year's ceremony marked the 125th anniversary of the chief petty officer rank and was the culmination of their chief petty officer initiation training.
"I have learned to have more patience,” said Manning. “I have also learned that words matter more at the Chief level and not to shoot from the hip. Another important lesson learned was I cannot do everything by myself, I now have an entire Chiefs Mess.”