USS George H.W. Bush Holds Pinning Ceremony for 49 New Chief Petty Officers


USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) held a pinning ceremony for 49 new chief petty officers (CPO) assigned to the ship and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Sept. 16.

The newest chief petty officers received their golden anchors after senior deckplate leaders spoke about the significance of the insignia, the title and the responsibility of the promotion. George H.W. Bush Commanding Officer Capt. Brian E. Luther congratulated the rows of khaki-clothed Sailors who joined the chiefs’ mess and earned the title of “the chief.”

“I’m extremely grateful to serve with so many talented leaders and I look forward to watching you forge the living links of tradition between the chiefs of yesterday and the chiefs of today,” said Luther in a ceremony held in the ship’s hangar bay.

The ceremony followed a six-week training period known as Induction, which began Aug. 1, when CPO advancement results were released. Each following day, senior leaders introduced CPO selects to methods that will help them effectively lead and mentor junior Sailors.

Being a first class and being a chief are two completely different things,” said Chief Electronics Technician (SW/AW) Joseph A. Weissman of USS George H.W. Bush reactor department. “During induction, we learned the leadership skills needed to not only guide our division, but also any junior Sailor in the command when needed.”

In the formal pinning ceremony, each new chief was pinned by his or her chosen mentors. Throughout the induction period, mentors imparted CPO selects with the knowledge and lessons that they and other chiefs have gained and learned during their years of service. The process aims to instill in each new member of the chiefs’ mess an appreciation for and a confidence in the unique position in the chain of command.

Unlike other branches of the military, promotion to the rank of E-7 in the Navy requires a Sailor to take on the dual-role of technical expert and designated leader. The title of “the chief” carries with it a tradition of knowledge, teamwork and ability to take charge that began when the Navy first created the rank on April 1, 1893.

Newly-pinned Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic (AW/SW) Charles W. Cutlip, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31, said his promotion requires him to pass on the experience and understanding he has gained to the Sailors he will now mentor and lead.

“We need to set them up for success to keep the tradition and knowledge flowing,” Cutlip said. “That’s what being a chief is all about – the junior Sailors.”

Many of the ship’s and air wing’s junior Sailors attended the ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay to support the Navy’s newest chief petty officers as they reached this career milestone.

CVW-8 includes the “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87, the “Valions” of VFA-15, the “Fighting Blacklions” of VFA-213, the “Tomcatters” of VFA-31, the “Bear Aces” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124, the “Shadowhawks” of Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 141, the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9, and the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70.

George H.W. Bush is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility on its first operational deployment conducting maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

Source: navy, September 20, 2011;