Story by Glenn Sircy on 09/13/2019By Glenn Sircy, Center for Information Wrafre Training
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Thirty-eight Sailors from the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), Naval Hospital Pensacola, Navy Information Operations Command Pensacola, and Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, donned their chief petty officer (CPO) anchors during a pinning ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, Sept. 13.
The ceremony concluded a rigorous six-week CPO initiation season that began when the new CPOs were notified, July 31. Throughout the six-week period, they were required to participate in approximately 100 training, teambuilding and community relation events.
Families, friends and shipmates joined the selectees as they officially donned their coveted gold CPO fouled anchors, and earned the title of Navy chief petty officer.
Capt. Nick Andrews, commanding officer of the Center for Information Warfare Training, served as the guest speaker.
"As you step into your role as a chief, it will require you to continue to grow as a leader; it will present you with challenges; it will test your abilities; and it will try your patience. It will also be tremendously rewarding," said Andrews. "You will have far reaching and meaningful impact on all those with whom you serve. We expect each of you to always be ready, and to ensure our Navy is ready for every challenge that may develop. But also, if we are surprised by the unexpected, I expect you to rise to the occasion and respond accordingly. That is the standard of youas the chief."
In the Navy, CPOs are the deckplate leaders that get things done. The Navy took a major step 126 years ago and created the rank of CPO to provide enlisted leadership and bridge the gap between officers and enlisted.
The process of becoming a CPO is no easy task, and as the Navy grows and evolves to protect America's interests in a fast-paced, more complex and increasingly competitive environment; more is required of CPOs to continuously drive excellence in leading our Navy team forward.
For CIWT's Command Master Chief Francisco Vargas, this CPO initiation season was especially noteworthy since it marked his first year onboard CIWT and 15th season of mentoring and molding Sailors into CPOs.
"The future of our Chiefs Mess is in great hands," shared Vargas. "Our local-area chiefs dedicated countless hours developing and mentoring this year's chief selects into our next generation of chief petty officers. I am proud of their accomplishments, and I have no doubt they are ready to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of a Navy chief.'"
During initiation season, the local-area chiefs focused on and taught the meaning of the Chief Petty Officer Creed, which is considered the cornerstone document of the Navy's CPO Mess. The CPO Creed outlines the ideals, values and expectations of every CPO. One section of the CPO Creed states, "It was our intent to impress upon you that challenge is good; a great and necessary reality which cannot mar you - which, in fact, strengthens you. In your future as a Chief Petty Officer, you will be forced to endure adversity far beyond that imposed upon you today. You must face each challenge and adversity with the same dignity and good grace you demonstrated today. By experience, by performance, and by testing, you have been this day advanced to Chief Petty Officer."
Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Anthony J. Thrush, chairperson of this year's CPO initiation committee, was very impressed with efforts put forth by both the initiated chiefs and those hoping to be a part of the Chiefs Mess during the initiation season.
"Over the past six weeks, our Chief's Mess worked together to forge 38 first class petty officers into tested and tried chief petty officers," said Thrush. "The weight of the anchors are heavy and the new chiefs understand it is only going to get harder from here. I have the utmost confidence they will succeed and I feel the Mess is in good hands moving forward. The future is indeed bright. I am extremely fortunate to have been surrounded by such a professional team of chiefs that made this 126th year of chief petty officers initiation such a profound success."
For Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Brendan Nobles of CIWT, the ceremony served as an opportunity to celebrate what is considered one of the most significant milestones of a Sailor's career.
"My new brothers, sisters, and I are now tasked with carrying the weight of anchors, of carrying the burden of leadership," shared Nobles. "We are tasked to keep the heritage of the Navy strong, and adapt our naval forces to meet the ever growing demands placed upon us."
Nobles also shared his favorite quote within the 1918 Bluejackets' Manual: "As a chief petty officer you are an expert in the details of your department. Unless you recognize that it is your duty to instruct your juniors and unless you do instruct them, and unless you endeavor to inculcate in them the knowledge of how things should be done, of how they should conduct themselves, you will have failed in your duties."
CPOs have always been and will continue to remain the backbone of the Navy. Today's newest CPOs throughout the fleet are now part of this longstanding and unique tradition that will continue to lead and prepare Sailors for the Navy the needs.
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command's top learning center for the past three years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
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