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Jarrett Sailors Revive Tradition

By Sonar Technician Surface 1st class (SW) Daniel Hockman

The tradition of “Tacking on the Crow” was brought back as it was meant to be, as senior Sailors aboard USS Jarrett (FFG 33) tacked rank patches on the coveralls of newly advanced Sailors during a pre-frocking ceremony, May 28.

When Jarrett’s Commanding Officer made the announcement advancement results, one of the names he announced was Sonar Technician 2nd class Christopher Hess. At a routine morning meeting, Chief Sonar Technician (SW) Stacy Hall announced, “I want to tack on his crow.” He immediately clarified the statement by explaining the origins of the tradition.

Hall told everyone that when our Navy started, you didn’t just run to your local Navy Exchange and pick up a couple of embroidered patches. The Navy regulations then required that one embroidered his new rank into the sleeve of his uniform. To ease the burden on the freshly advanced Sailor, fellow crewmembers would each sew one stitch into their shipmate’s uniform.

Hall had the idea of renewing this tradition by sewing the newly earned rank onto the coveralls of the newly selected first class petty officers. “I think it’s important to pass on our traditions,” Hall said.

After hearing the origins of the tradition, Hockman took the idea to Jarrett’s Command Senior Chief, Senior Chief Aviation Warefare Systems Operator (SW/AW) Michael Davis, as a team building exercise for the First Class Petty Officer’s Mess and their newest members. Davis took the idea to a new level when he introduced the idea to the Chief’s Mess as a way to induct all new petty officers. Upon completion of their respective leadership classes selectees would receive their new rating badges, supplied by the First Class Mess, to be sewn on by the senior enlisted members of their divisions. Davis explained, “It is important for us to come together as a command and learn about our heritage and traditions. This is just one of many ways for us to pass on those traditions to our junior Sailors in a positive way.”

“I was honored to do this for Petty Officer Hess.” Hockman said, “I wish this had been the tradition when I made rank. It would have meant more to me,” he added.

Tradition has always been an important part of our Navy’s heritage, but when you stray too far, the original values are lost. The reason Sailors tacked on crows for their shipmates back then was to show their respect and care for each other. The same spirit is evident and on proud display today, aboard Jarrett.

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