Members of the U.S. Command 7th Fleet and the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) combined Chiefs’ Mess commemorated chiefs on the 124th birthday of the U.S. Navy chief petty officer by observing evening colors at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka April 1, 2017.
The combined Chiefs’ Mess remembered seven chiefs by also singing in an effort to bring respect to those who died during their active service duty within the past year.
“We are here to pay homage to the ones that are at the tip of the spear, to honor our fallen and let them know that they’re never forgotten,” said Senior Chief Hull Technician William J. Sisk.
Fallen service members, such as Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Cooper Dayton, last assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, serving in Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve and Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, who was serving in an advisory capacity to the Iraqi coalition force also supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, were among the few honored during the commemoration.
“This day is certainly unlike other days. It was exactly 124 years ago that Navy’s chief petty officer was officially established by a congressional order,” said Master Chief Charles Ziervogel, Blue Ridge’s Command Master Chief.
The rank of chief petty officer was established April 1, 1893 to foster exceptional leadership of senior enlisted personnel as well as bridging the divide between officers and junior enlisted personnel.
“It’s a symbol within the United States Navy that all Sailors know and respect, a symbol that Sailors look up to and strive to be. It carries with it the backbone of the Navy,” said Sisk.