Okinawa welcomes new chiefs during Pinning Ceremony

by MC2 Matthew Dickinson
Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa Public Affairs Office

OKINAWA, Japan – Chief selects stood side by side in the Keystone Theater on Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, awaiting their anchors during the Okinawa FY20 Chief Pinning Ceremony Sept. 12.

Chief selects stood at attention, shoulder to shoulder on the dimly lit stage of the Keystone Theater on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Japan, eagerly awaiting their anchors during the FY20 Chief Pinning Ceremony, Sept. 12.

Guest speaker, Command Master Chief Jonathon M. Carter, 3rd Marine Logistics Group said, "Every day when you're wearing that uniform, you do it with a high level of moral character, because everybody is looking for Chief."

The ceremony was the finale of a training period known as Chief Petty Officer 365 (CPO 365), which is designed to strengthen leadership skills and provide a better understanding of what it means to be a U.S. Navy chief.

Carter continued, "It's about being all in every day, and being leaders in our Navy, winning and fighting wars, that's what being a chief is about."

Family members and friends pinned two gold anchors on each newly appointed chief's collar as their sponsors placed a combination cover on their head.

"I was exhilarated, beyond happy," said Chief Personnel Specialist Glenn Natividad, from San Jose, Calif., assigned to Personnel Support Detachment Okinawa, "Grateful, happy and at the same time, that feeling that you don’t know stepping into a new set of responsibilities, not really a fear, just anxiousness, going from first class to being ‘the chief' not a selectee, or acting chief, but 'the chief'."

The selectees included personnel assigned to Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron 5 and NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center.

During the CPO 365 process, participants endured long hours, putting strain not only on the selectees but the chiefs that are training them as well.

"They (family) did the sacrifice as well, being here, long extended hours, working on weekends, my family was understanding" said Natividad. "The chief's mess, they were always there, they had the patience to guide us, to mentor us, to teach us, to train us to be a part of the chief's mess, part of the team."

When a Sailor is promoted to the rank of chief petty officer, he or she incurs greater responsibilities and expectations. They will spend more time than they have ever spent before leading junior Sailors to accomplish the Navy's mission.

The rank of chief petty officer was created on April 1, 1893, formalizing a tradition that consisted of the senior, most experienced, rated Sailor as the "chief" Sailor, who was designated by the commanding officer as the one in charge of his peers.

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