NSSC Chief Petty Officer Becomes a Mustang
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/EXW) Jason J. Perry, Commander, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Ryan J. Peter reported to work Friday morning at Naval Submarine Support Center (NSSC) as a chief petty officer, but left as a commissioned ensign.
In one day, the Estherville, Iowa native realized a dream 15 years in the making, completing the transition from enlisted to officer during a commissioning ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London Sept. 28.
"I believe every accomplishment is a highlight, but putting on my anchors was near the top," said Peter. "Advancement in the yeoman rating is slow once you are in the chief ranks, I wanted to still move up in rank and becoming an officer has enabled that."
Navy senior enlisted personnel can earn an officer's commission as either a chief warrant officer or, as Peter chose to do, limited duty officer. Applications are accepted once a year, usually in October. Both programs are highly competitive and usually accept the top 1 percent of the service's enlisted personnel.
For Peter service in any capacity is important, but serving his country gives him an opportunity shared with many of his brothers and sisters in arms.
"It means I am able to protect the ones I love," he said. "We all serve as a part of the mission, whether it is painting the ship or performing critical operations, we all have a part," said Peter.
Giving him the direction and motivation to succeed, Peter credits the many leaders he has worked for.
"My two mentors, retired Master Chief Yeoman(SS) Joel Gonsowski and Senior Chief Yeoman (SS) Scott Dillon have inspired me to be the leader I am today, said Peter. "Through their expert advice I have been able to do the things I do and lead the Sailors I am charged with."
Cmdr. Steve Mongold, prospective commanding officer of USS Newport News (SSN 750) spoke at Peter's ceremony and emphasized the support of his family during the past 15 years and how it has fostered his successes today and tomorrow.
"Every Sailor knows that their job is just too big to be done alone," said Mongold. "Sailors often turn to one another to get the job done day-to-day, but it is our families that give us strength, courage, wisdom and the foundation to get the job done over the long haul."
Mongold added that the support provided by our families is pricless.
"It is you that fights the 'wars' here at home and we are eternally grateful for the sacrifices you make for Chief Peter, your family and our country," said Mongold. "As a former enlisted Sailor, Ensign Ryan J. Peter has now become a Mustang, a commissioned officer, a position that carries with it more duty, more responsibility and as a seasoned leader, earned respect."
Peter will soon transfer from Naval Submarine Support Center in Groton and take the helm as the administration officer at the Fighter Attack Squadron 122 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.