Eight Sailors assigned to USS Russell (DDG 59) received their anchors of gold and became the newest members of the Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Mess during a pinning ceremony at Ruocco Park in downtown San Diego, Sept. 16.
Those promoted to the rank of Chief included CPO Nathaniel Kramer of Sperry, Ia.; CPO Brian Follman of Hampshire, Ill.; CPO William McMahan of San Jose, Calif.; CPO Daniel Hanson of Susanville, Calif.; CPO Chad Garbinsky of Pittsburg, Penn.; CPO Ty Detloff of Mojave, Calif.; CPO James Wilkes of Trenton, N.J.; and CPO Lanny Bonafilia of Novaliches, Quezon City, Republic of the Philippines.
For these new Chiefs, the pinning ceremony represented not only the hard work that each of them displayed during their six week selectee training process, known as CPO 365 Phase II, but also the dedication to their shipmates and respective technical skills that they have shown throughout their entire careers. With their pinning, these Chiefs have elevated their roles and have begun to contribute to RUSSELL’s success more than ever before.
The road to their anchors began Aug. 2 when Cmdr. Gill McCarthy, Russell’s commanding officer, announced the results of the 2016 Navy-wide CPO selection board over the ship’s intercom. Eight of Russell’s First Class Petty Officers were selected and began their transition process within the hour, forming together as a group to begin their journey. On the same day, McCarthy issued each selectee his or her charge book, initially empty, but soon to be filled with knowledge passed down from members of Russell’s CPO Mess and those around the waterfront.
Over the next six weeks, with the help of Russell’s Mess, the selectees honed their leadership skills through a variety of evolutions and events. These events included daily physical and knowledge based training sessions and a group uniform fitting session in addition to weekly social and community service events alongside their Chief sponsors.
Daily physical training sessions were an opportunity for selectees to demonstrate their ability to vocally lead a group while challenging themselves physically under stress. Knowledge based sessions achieved similar goals. These proved to be valuable evolutions considering the mentally and physically demanding environments associated with sea duty, while the uniform fitting and weekly social events allowed the selectees to interact with their mentors away from the shipboard environment.
With the completion of the pinning ceremony, Russell’s Chiefs have found more expansive roles at the command as they are now expected to more skillfully lead their divisions and train their division officers to the demanding standards uniquely required by our sea service.
As commanding officer of a Navy ship, McCarthy has a healthy respect and appreciation for the contributions of a Chief Petty Officer to shipboard life.
“Chief Petty Officers are the people that we repeatedly turn to for wisdom, good will, authority on personal matters, and technical expertise,” said McCarthy.
Russel’s new Chiefs soon learned that McCarthy’s respect and expectations of CPOs meant getting right to work in their new role.
Chief Petty Officer Ty Detloff assumed responsibilities as the leading chief petty officer of the operations technical division and has enjoyed the increased challenge of managing a division.
“I’m working hard to make sure that I empower my Sailors to get the job done and have them take on more responsibility, while at the same time keeping an ear and an eye open to make sure I can be there for them when they need it,” said Detloff.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Hanson feels as though the selection process helped to develop his leadership skills and prepare him for success as a Chief.
“I am now the leading chief petty officer for the combat gunnery division, and I definitely think that the process helped me to take on the challenges of leadership by adapting quickly and learning the specifics of my division and the Sailors who make it tick.”