LCS Boasts High Promotion Rate to CPO
From Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO - Twenty-two Sailors assigned to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program were promoted to the rank of chief petty officer during a pinning ceremony Sept. 16.

A total of 82 candidates passed the advancement exam to become "board eligible," and 22 of them were ultimately selected for promotion, resulting in a 25 percent advancement rate.

"First and foremost, the credit for these chief selects achieving this milestone is a direct reflection of their hard work and dedication," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Anthony Decker, LCS Squadron 1. "We not only had 22 selected that are currently assigned to LCS, but several others that have since moved on to other duty assignments. In LCS we don't do business as usual. Equipment, systems, training and the way we manage Sailors is totally different from the way most, if not all ships do. I think being able to do these things differently and being effective at it was instrumental in these 22 folks reaching this goal."

This year follows a continual rise in advancements across the board for the ranks of chief, senior chief, and master chief petty officer for the LCS program.

"I am extremely pleased with the number of selects we had this year," said Decker. "I have been with this program for six-plus years and have watched the numbers steadily increase across the board."

LCS ships require that its crew members have skills in more than just their rating. LCS Sailors receive training that gives them a mixture of skills from several ratings, creating the hybrid Sailor.

"On the LCS platforms, the Sailors have to do more things in different areas of the ship that are not connected to their rating expertise. There is no doubt that the focus in training that the blue, gold crews get every four months helped these Sailors reach such a major milestone in their careers," said Cmdr. Randy Garner, former commanding officer of USS Freedom (LCS 1) Gold Crew. "I'm thrilled to hear these Sailors are getting recognized for the unique leadership roles and challenges they have in a very small crew."

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval technology. The ship is specifically designed to defeat "anti-access" threats in shallow, coastal water regions, including surface craft, diesel submarines and mines. LCS features an interchangeable modular design that allows the ship to be reconfigured to meet mission requirements.

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