By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trey Fowler
Twenty first class petty officers, including eight assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, officially donned anchors and combination covers for the first time at a chief petty officer (CPO) pinning ceremony held at Naval Support Activity Naples, Sept. 13, 2019.
The rank of CPO was created on April 1, 1893, formalizing a tradition that recognized the most senior and most experienced rated Sailor as the "chief."
“My entire life is going to change,” said Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Jeremy Boucher. “It's going to change focus to junior Sailors and junior officers. I'm eager to take on more responsibility now that I'm a chief to help my Sailors."
When a Sailor is promoted to the rank of CPO, he or she incurs greater responsibilities and expectations. They will spend more time leading junior Sailors to accomplish the Navy's mission.
“I could not have done this without the support of my family,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Christopher Ervin. “They have been a big part of my career, and they are the reason why I'm here today.”
When the CPO selection list is released each August, Phase II of CPO 365 begins. CPO 365 is a year-long program designed to ensure the CPO Mess and First Class Petty Officers are continually and steadily developing to succeed in future leadership positions and affords command leadership the flexibility to conduct education and training in alignment with the Navy Ethos and Navy Core Values of honor, courage and commitment. Overall, this helps new chiefs better integrate into the mess.
“I'm nervous and excited,” said Ervin. “I'm excited to be able to help people out and be that chief that brought me up to this level."
U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interest and security and stability in Europe and Africa.