Story by SN Jarrod Schad on 05/31/2019Nearly 200 Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) were advanced in rate during a frocking ceremony held on May 31.
Frocking is a naval tradition where Sailors selected for advancement from the most recent Navy-wide advancement exam are authorized to wear the next higher rate on their uniforms and assume greater responsibilities prior to receiving pay at their higher grades at a later date.
Capt. Randy Peck, John C. Stennis' commanding officer, congratulated each of the 2189 petty officers with a handshake while presenting them with their frocking letter as their friends, family and shipmates applauded.
Peck addressed the crew, emphasizing how important advancement was and how important it was for every Sailor to encourage one another for the upcoming cycle.
"Your job now is to create opportunities for those eligible for the upcoming exam," said Peck. "Without the crew pulling together, we could not have been as successful as we were."
Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class Mason Reagan, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, attributed her advancement to the study groups with her 1st and 2nd Class Petty Officers leading up to the exam.
"Our study material can be very hard to understand at times," said Reagan. "They knew the material and would help explain it to us by using different visuals to help us understand better."
The John C. Stennis scored above the Navy average for advancement percentages of all ratings among all U.S. carriers, according to Chief Navy Counselor Sarah Dozier, the command career counselor aboard the John C. Stennis.
Dozier attributed the John C. Stennis' success to the advancement initiative instilled by Peck.
"With the advancement initiative, our Sailors are being told what to study for, when to study for each topic and are given a game plan," said Dozier. "Before, it was in the Sailors' hands, but now they have that road map to success for advancement."
For those that did not advance, Dozier encouraged Sailors to begin preparing now for the next advancement cycle in September.
"The best thing a Sailor can do is to keep on going, exceed expectations and give it 110 percent all the time," said Dozier. "Get right back into the books, because September is right around the corner."
After the ceremony, the newly advanced petty officers returned to their divisions ready to assume new responsibilities and roles while the rest of the command looked ahead to the next advancement cycle.
John C. Stennis Sailors and family members also took part in frocking 10 Senior Chief Petty Officers.
The John C. Stennis completed a homeport change while pulling into Naval Station Norfolk and will begin preparations for a mid-life Refueling and Complex Overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries.
For more news on John C. Stennis, visit www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stennis74.