USS Theodore Roosevelt Pins New Chief Petty Officers at Sea

Thirty-eight Sailors onboard aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) made the time-honored transition to chief petty officer (CPO), donning khaki uniforms, combination covers and gold anchors for the first time during a chief pinning ceremony, Sept. 13.

This Navy tradition, which dates back to when the CPO pay-grade was created in 1893, was made even more special since the ceremony occurred while the carrier was at sea.

“The Navy is all about going to sea,” said Chief Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) Rodney Mba. “We belong out to sea. For me to get pinned at sea means the world to me. I would have loved for my family to be here; but to me, being out to sea and getting pinned out to sea is much better than being in port.”

“I carry my family with me everywhere I go, but it is fitting to be pinned out at sea because this is what we do as Sailors,” said Chief Electronics Technician Anne Holman. “I think it makes it that much more special that our families saw us leave as first classes, and they will see us return as chiefs.”

The ceremony signifies that these Sailors are ready to take on the additional professional and personal responsibilities of a chief petty officer.

“The chiefs mess will look for them to not only be the chief, but to help us be innovative,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Alida Hentz. “They will be a source of new ideas and a way to help make the chiefs mess stronger.”

Capt. Daniel Grieco, TR’s commanding officer, emphasized that none of the newly-pinned chiefs would reached this milestone in their careers without the support of their families. He also offered an encouraging message.

“Uphold the character and the characteristics so proudly established by those who have walked the deck plates before you. Never forget that you earn your anchors every single day. You earn the right to be part of such a very special group within our Navy – a group that leads our Sailors selflessly, exhausting themselves in a worthy cause of serving our Navy and our country with pride. I am proud to call each of you chief petty officers, and I look forward to serving with you,” said Grieco.

The pinning ceremony is the final stage on the six-week CPO induction process that focuses on team-oriented tasks and one-on-one interactions with other CPOs.

Press Release, September 16, 2013