USS George Washington Welcomes Its Newest Master Chiefs

Seven Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) were frocked to the rank of master chief petty officer May 24.

Senior Chief Aviation Support Technician Gregory Della, Senior Chief Aviation Support Technician James Kenyon, Senior Chief Quartermaster Derek Mullenhour, Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Glen Newbis, Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Rick Putnam, Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Ray Sanders and Senior Chief Damage Controlman Gary Wise were frocked to the rank of master chief petty officer.

“It’s an awesome day. This was 16 years in the making,” said Wise. “I never thought as a young Sailor that I’d ever be a master chief and I’m extremely honored.”

The ceremony was held on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier during an all hands call with Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington’s commanding officer, and Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt.

“It’s always great to have more master chiefs in the fold,” said Brahmstead. “To see their leaders advance is a great accomplishment and it gives the crew incentive to excel.”

Making master chief petty officer is no easy task, said Wise. It takes time, dedication and leadership to mold Sailors to become chiefs, senior chiefs and master chief petty officers.

“This gives us the indication that what we are doing is worth it and lets us know we are on the right track,” said Wise. “It feels very good to be acknowledged.”

Several family members took part in the ceremony and showed support by pinning on their new master chief petty officers’ collar devices.

“It was very nerve racking up until the point he found out,” said Stacey Putnam, spouse of Putnam.

Advancement to master chief reflects not only the hard work of the senior chief, but also the team of Sailors they lead.

“Making master chief is just a testament to all the Sailors that have worked for and with me,” said Putnam. “I couldn’t be happier; I’m on cloud E-9.”

Press Release, May 28, 2013