Story and photo by MC1 Gino Flores
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Fourteen U.S. sailors ascended to the rank, role and responsibilities of chief petty officers in a pinning ceremony at LSA 7 chapel aboard Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Sept. 16.
The ceremony is a time-honored tradition dating back to 1883, when the rank was first established.
The ceremony capped a traditional six-week initiation which prepared the chief-selects for their new responsibilities.
“Continued training and using the tools provided by the Navy to further career goals without giving up will allow you to make chief,” said the newly promoted Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Miller, an independent duty hospital corpsman with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) and a Utica, N.Y., native. “Reaching out to senior leadership also provides junior sailors with a source of experience and knowledge for guidance.”
Marines, sailors and special guests attended the ceremony to witness and provide support to the new chiefs. The event included ceremonial rituals such as reciting the Chief Petty Officers’ Creed and marching in place while singing “Anchors Aweigh” and the “Marines’ Hymn.”
Throughout the ceremony a theme of mentorship played among the audience and new chiefs focused on mentorship.
“Bring troops to the next level by developing mentoring programs and emphasizing the basics,” said Chief Petty Officer Edmund Simpliciano, a Naval air crewman and native of Imperial Beach, Calif., assigned to Scan Eagle detachment with Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command.
Miller has already helped inspire would-be chief petty officers under his charge.
“Seeing the hard work and the long hours my team mentor, Chief Miller, invested in getting ready for the chiefs pinning ceremony inspires and motivates me to continue towards my goal of seeing my name make the next year’s list,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Genell Cody, a hospital corpsman with 7th ESB and native of Augusta, Ga.
After the ceremony the sailors and Marines in attendance congratulated the new chief petty officers and took part in a cake-cutting ceremony – just one more part of a tradition 118 years in the making.
More photos here.