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120914-N-IZ978-007 GOA, INDIA (14SEP2012) The Chief Petty Officers of USS Gridley pose with the newly promoted Chiefs after the CPO Pinning Ceremony held onboard while in Goa, India for a port visit. Gridley is currently embarked on a six-month deployment in support of counter-piracy operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g Elijah Waddle/Released)
USS Gridley Welcomes New Chief Petty Officers 
By LTJG Elijah Waddle, USS Gridley (DDG 101) Public Affairs Officer  
Onboard, USS Gridley - On Friday, September 14th, the USS Gridley Chief Petty Officer’s Mess welcomed 10 of the Navy’s finest to their ranks. The pinning took place onboard Gridley during a port visit to Goa, India.

Commander Gadala E. Kratzer, commanding officer, expressed his pride in the United States Navy’s newest Chief Petty Officers and their achievements.

“I am so very proud of these Sailors, these new Gridley Chief Petty Officers, not just for what they’ve done, but for what they stand ready to do. May God bless each of you, and may God bless the United States Ship Gridley”.

“Becoming a Chief doesn’t happen over night and for these Sailors it hasn’t been accomplished over the last few weeks.” Command Master Chief Michael A. Gonzales said in his address to the crew. “It’s taken each of them years to reach this milestone, a milestone that brings with it a responsibility that is rich in Navy history, one that every Chief past or present has willingly accepted.”

Each chief selectee went through a six-week indoctrination process implemented by the chief's mess which is designed to test and prepare the CPO selectees for life as a chief petty officer in the United States Navy. After indoctrination the new chiefs took part in a pinning ceremony which has been a tradition in the Navy since 1893, when the chief petty officer pay grade was created. The ceremony signifies a new position of leadership and responsibility in the Navy.

The newest members of Gridley’s Goat Locker are:
Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Jose A. Tamayo, Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Paul W. French, Chief Master-at-Arms Amy D. Pearson, Chief Fire Controlman Eric X. Vu, Chief Fire Controlman Alejandro Castillo, Chief Fire Controlman Jeffrey M. Jorgensen, Chief Engineman Daniel J. Wilkinson, Chief Electronics Technician James E. Collins, Chief Operations Specialist Brandon E. Horn, and Chief Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) James G. Good.

USS Gridley is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) ONE. The ship is currently embarked on a six-month deployment in support of counter-piracy operations. Learn more about USS Gridley at http://www.gridley.navy.mil/ and follow them on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pages/USS-Gridley-DDG-101/116135718461603.
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