Ten Sailors from USS HOPPER (DDG-70) and one Sailor from USS DENVER (LPD-9) donned khaki uniforms and combination covers for the first time during the FY14 Chief Petty Officer pinning ceremony held September 15 at the Tea House Lanai on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Commander, USS HOPPER, David T. Snee congratulated selectees, mentors, and other leaders who helped them advance to Chief Petty Officer. He specifically expressed gratitude for the family members who have supported the selectees throughout their careers.
Family members and friends pinned on two gold fouled anchors to each newly appointed Chief’s uniform, and each Sailor’s sponsor placed the khaki combination cover on their heads.
For the Sailors receiving their anchors, it was an emotional experience, and the culmination of six grueling weeks of mental and physical training to prepare them for the challenges of being a Chief.
“I’m just feeling a ton of appreciation for all the mentors, Sailors, and Chiefs who helped me get to this point,” said Chief Personnel Specialist Sonya F. Dateng.
When asked what the most valuable lessons he took from the experience were, Chief Operations Specialist Reggae Baldwin said, “Pick your battles, stay true to yourself and your Sailors, and the Mess will always have your back no matter what.”
In total this week, Navy commands pinned 3,794 new Chiefs selected from 16,283 eligible first class petty officers.