USS MUSTIN, At Sea - Twenty-two Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) were advanced to the next pay grade during a frocking ceremony held aboard the ship Nov. 29.
Mustin's Commanding Officer Cmdr. Michael V. Misiewicz, who was prior enlisted himself, congratulated the newly advanced petty officers and presented them with a frocking letter to officially recognize them to their new pay grade.
"Congratulations to those who were promoted here today," said Misiewicz, as he addressed the crew. "It is a great achievement in your naval careers and well deserved. I appreciate your efforts day in and day out, and I am very proud to be your shipmate."
The Navy's frocking practice can be traced back to the early 19th century when the wearing of a higher rank before receiving the pay for such rank was necessary at times, especially during war, to swell the ranks.
One of Mustin's brand new petty officers, Damage Controlman 3rd Class Terrel Rowan, of Loganville, Ga., said he was happy to have been advanced and that he owes a lot of thanks to his fellow shipmates who helped him a long the way.
"I had a lot of motivation from guys to make sure I was studying and learning as much about my rate as I could," said Rowan. "It was a lot of late nights studying when I could have been sleeping after work, but it paid off."
For some Mustin Sailors the everyday drive to become an expert at their rate helped give them the personal edge in making the grade towards advancement.
"A plus for me this time taking the exam was how the questions were very familiar to me with regards to my everyday duties, and with some studying in my free time, I believe put me over the top," said Logistic Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Wooton, from Rock Hill, S.C. "This is a big step in my career, in all of our careers. It is hard for me to fully describe the feeling at this moment. I am very proud of all of us."
Prior to their advancement ceremony, junior Sailors take a required three-day indoctrination workshop where they learn what it takes to be a leader in their new role as petty officer. Lectures cover everything from "Responsibilities of a New Petty Officer" to "Quality of Life" and everything in between.
"I would definitely say that the training course is beneficial to all junior Sailors who are becoming petty officers for the first time in their careers," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician Mechanical 1st Class (SW) John Nickerson of Rochester, N.H. "This promotion cycle, I had the opportunity to teach in the workshop informing Sailors about what will be expected of them in the fleet. Our Sailors had good questions, and I believe they will do well as their careers progress."
For Mustin's newly advanced petty officers, like Nickerson, the emphasis now shifts from making rank to helping others achieve all they can and the beginning of newly appointed leadership roles within their division.
"My shoulders feel heavy already," Nickerson said. "Instead of being in charge of a few Sailors, I am now in charge of an entire division, but to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way."
The Navy advancement exams for E-4 through E-6 contain 200 multiple-choice questions about general Navy knowledge and job-specific criteria. The advancement exams are administered every year in March and September. For more information on advancement, visit https://www.nko.navy.mil.>
Mustin is currently conducting routine operations and training in the Pacific Ocean. Mustin is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.