NOB, Norfolk, VA —
NORFOLK, VA. (NNS) -- Seventeen Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) Sailors were promoted to chief petty officer during a pinning ceremony at the base chapel at Naval Station Norfolk, Sept. 13.
MARMC Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Barney and Command Master Chief Mike Jones were among hundreds of Sailors and civilians on hand to congratulate the new chiefs.
During opening remarks, MARMC Executive Officer Capt. Rey Tanap talked about the long and storied history of the chief petty officer. He told the new chiefs that wearing anchors comes with the important responsibility of training the Navy’s future leaders.
“Today we proudly promote our newest chief petty officers,” Tanap said. “These new chiefs now become members of the chief’s mess where they will be tasked with leading MARMC and the Navy, mentoring Sailors and advising senior leaders. I want to congratulate them for reaching this milestone in their careers, and look forward to seeing them on the deckplates leading our Sailors to get the mission accomplished.”
For the last six-and-a-half weeks, the new chiefs received a crash course on leadership from the MARMC chief’s mess designed to help prepare them for the challenges that come with leading the Fleet.
“Going through training with the chiefs has been an eye-opener,” said Chief Hull Technician Ruben Casas. “You get to understand what your chiefs told you when you were a first class. We were challenged, but it all came with lessons that will help prepare us to be better leaders. We also learned we can lean on each other and build trust within the Mess.”
Earning anchors is a milestone in a Sailor’s career. The prestigious tradition of the chief petty officer goes back 126 years. Putting on the khaki uniform and donning the combination cover for the first time exudes a feeling of pride. However, with it also comes a sense of humility.
“Knowing that you’re now going to be that person that Sailors come to is a humbling feeling,” said Chief Gas Turbine Electrician Sheena Marie Dumalag. “Knowing that you’re in that position now, it puts a lot on your shoulders. It is a much greater responsibility than what you have had before. It is really exciting.”
While the uniform has changed, for these chiefs the mission has not. Many of them were already leaders in the own right. Now, they are a part of a heritage forged on unity. If there is nothing else these chiefs learned, it is to lean on the Chief’s Mess.
The enormity of the moment wasn’t lost on the new chiefs. The overwhelming pride was accentuated as they remembered everyone who has helped them achieve this career milestone.