SANTA RITA, Guam (Sept. 13, 2019) – Thirty new chiefs from 11 Guam-based commands were pinned their gold-fouled anchors during the Chief’s Pinning Ceremony at the Big Screen Theater aboard U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) in Santa Rita Sept. 13.
The ceremony consisted of a total of 29 Sailors and one Airman promoted to the paygrade of chief petty officer (CPO) with a total of 46 CPOs on Guam.
Naval Expeditionary Forces Command Pacific Command Master Chief Richard Straney was the pinning ceremony’s guest speaker.
“Being a chief is hard and chiefs, if your job or life gets easier, you aren’t doing it right,” Straney said. “Things that aren’t hard are not valued. It’s why this process is so difficult. These new chiefs and old ones alike, value the chief’s mess and our obligation to execute our sworn duties more because of this process. We will not let the mission falter or take risk with our team’s good name.”
The rank of U.S. Navy chief petty officer was established on April 1, 1893. For the last six weeks, the newly pinned chiefs participated in a time honored tradition of the chief’s initiation process. The initiation is where CPO selectees are mentally and physically tested. Its objective is to inspire and motivate the chief select, while also giving them lessons on leadership, promoting unity, and building teamwork. The chief selects also participated in group fitness sessions, organized community outreach projects, learned about naval heritage and more importantly what it means for a chief to put their Sailors first.
Chief Master-At-Arms (MAC) Evan Ellis from Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) One, Detachment Guam said he learned so much throughout the process.
“These past six weeks were challenging,” Ellis said. “These anchors, they’re not going to give them to you - you have to earn them every day. I’ve been looking forward to this day for the last 12 years. Been in 12 years now and this is one of the happiest days of my life.”
Chief Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (PRC) Gabriel Kline has been in the Navy for 17 years and said this is a major milestone in his career.
“It feels like the culmination, of basically most of my life right now is this moment – it’s hard to describe,” Kline said.
In addition to the Navy Sailors who received anchors, Master Sgt. Gabriel Lira, assigned to 30th Naval Construction Regiment, was formally welcomed into the chief’s mess. Lira received anchors and donned a combination cover after participating in and completing the initiation phase.
“So proud of them,” NBG Command Master Chief Gary Wise said. “What I’ve seen from them, in growth exponentially in the last month and half has just proven that this process works and it continues to work and they are ready to serve the commanding officers, leadership teams, and sailors and all the commands they come from.”