The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) welcomed her newest Chief Petty Officers (CPOs) to the Chief's Mess during a pinning ceremony on the ship’s flight deck, Sept 16.
Chief Gunner's Mate Ladarrious Jones and Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) Michael Rushing,
The ceremony was the culmination of a six-week training period, known as CPO 365 Phase II, during which the senior enlisted leaders introduced the chief selectees to a myriad of challenges designed to strengthen their leadership skills and provide a better understanding of what it means to be a Navy Chief. Their training also included the history and traditions of the CPO mess, mentorship and additional responsibilities.
Retired Force Master Chief Jim DeLozier, previously assigned to Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. During his speech, DeLozier encouraged the new Chiefs to be proud of their accomplishments over the past 6 weeks and throughout their careers, but not to forget that the Navy is evolving and that as Chief Petty Officers they needed to evolve with it.
"Change is good,” said DeLozier. “You will hear some of the old Chiefs say the process is watered down, and we have lost sight of what makes a good Chief Petty Officer. I will tell you that there were things that I experienced in 1995 that needs to stay back in 1995 - they did not make me a better Chief."
Jones, who has served on active duty for 16 years, described his sentiment after finally achieving this career milestone.
"I want to thank the Sailors who worked for me that helped me get to where I am, as well as my wife and children," said Jones. “I am happy to be in a position to impact junior sailors' careers."
A Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, Cape St. George is homeported in San Diego and is a multi-mission platform capable of air, surface, and sub-surface defense.