By Senior Airman Christopher Stoltz, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Affairs
The rank of Navy chief petty officer, as it is recognized today, was officially established on April 1, 1893. One hundred and twenty-two years later, the chief petty officer’s ability to build relationships and find solutions for both officers and enlisted personnel alike has led them to be called the “glue” of the Navy by many leaders today.
To celebrate those individuals, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the National Park Service dedicated this month’s Pearl Harbor Colors ceremony to the United States Navy chief petty officer.
The event, which took place April 1 at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, provided military personnel with the opportunity to celebrate their chiefs and allowed civilian visitors a chance to catch a glimpse of some of the “U.S. Navy’s finest,” according to guest speaker, Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez.
“America is the country she is today because of men and women like these,” said Ramirez. “Chiefs serve a dual role as technical experts and leaders, with the focus shifting to leadership as they grow and establish tenure.
They are a foundation which has kept the U.S. Navy solid for the last 122 years and today, and they will continue to keep the Navy solid for the future as well,” Ramirez said.
One of the chiefs in attendance was Senior Chief Petty Officer Tam Dinh, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Pacific, who said the event was not only refreshing but inspiring.”
“It is nice to get a pat on the back every now and then,” he said. “However, this event is different to me; it is motivating.
“I’m excited to get back to my shop and see what I can do to continue to be a great Sailor. I want to continue to earn the right to be named a chief petty officer, and I want my Sailors and everyone around me to see that effort as well,” Dinh said.
Seeing the effort and excellence a chief exudes was easily seen by John Pritchett and his family who are visiting Hawaii from Melbourne, Australia. They have visited the Pearl Harbor memorials all five times they have come to Hawaii. However, the Pritchetts said this visit was memorable due in part to the Pearl Harbor Colors ceremony and having some of the “Navy’s finest” present at the event.
“It is great to see all these men and women here,” Pritchett said. “We visit the memorial every time we visit Hawaii, but this particular trip is one we will never forget.”
He was interrupted by a relative who said, “I think I am ready to join the Navy now.”
Pearl Harbor Colors is sponsored by Navy Region Hawaii in coordination with the National Park Service. Each ceremony usually features the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, the Honors and Ceremonies Guard from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and an official observance of “morning colors.”
The next Pearl Harbor Colors will be held April 23 at 7:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center.
For more information about Pearl Harbor Colors, contact 473-2920.