ARABIAN GULF (Sept. 15, 2015) – The officers and crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) assembled in the hangar bay, Sept. 15, to honor the 44 Sailors promoted to chief petty officer after six weeks of intensive leadership training.
A Sailor’s promotion to chief is a highlight to any enlisted Sailor who achieves this rate.
“It’s a big day,” said Chief Machinist’s Mate Ryan Lorbecki. “This is a day that a lot of brothers and sisters have waited for, and we’ve worked hard the last six weeks. We have a lot of people who got us to where we are: junior Sailors, chief who’ve gotten us here and our families who can’t be here today, unfortunately. It’s a really big day, and I think we all share the same type of emotions.”
A common theme while on deployment, even on a cherished day like this, is the desire to celebrate the achievement with the families who support Sailors from home.
“Today is the greatest day of my life,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Harrison Moorer. “I wish my wife could be here with me. My family and my little girls could be here to pin me.”
While TR is in an operational environment, the crew still makes a point of observing important Navy traditions, such as the chief’s pinning ceremony. TR’s Chiefs Mess used their resources to put together the traditional ceremony for the newly-promoted chiefs.
“There’s no doubt that without good mentors, I wouldn’t be here right now,” said Chief Master at Arms Nicholas Sharpe, one of the newly pinned chiefs. “I was just a knuckleheaded kid, and they turned me into a leader, into a real man, and I hope to do the same for many Sailors.”
Sailors who earn the anchors of a chief embark on a new kind of life in the Navy. While there are lots of benefits, it also means stepping away from the life of a ‘blueshirt,’ or any Sailor below the rank of chief petty officer.
“You look forward to all the great things you’re going to do with the brand new group of khakis,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Misty Carlisle. “It’s also bittersweet at the same time. You are essentially leaving behind some really good first class [petty officer] friends that came up with you.”
While all of the new chiefs are currently deployed aboard TR, they come from a variety of commands and personal backgrounds, but the hallmark of a chief is quality mentorship.
“Mentorship plays a huge role, not only in their development as chief petty officers, but it started all the way back on the day [came into the Navy],” said TR’s Command Master Chief James Tocorzic. “I think every junior Sailor that first comes across the brow finds that Sailor they look up to and want to emulate. That’s no different for our new chief petty officers today. Through the course of their careers, they’ve been developed whether they realize it or not by both positive and some negative leaders, and they’ve put that in their toolbox and hopefully took away from the good and discarded the bad. They’ll continue to develop on that even after today, via senior chiefs, master chiefs and officers they work for, to become more effective leaders for all our
Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Farragut (DDG 90) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
Roosevelt is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class R. David Valdez USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
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