– “Anchor’s Aweigh” echoed through the hangar bay of USS Makin Island (LHD 8) as 17 chief selectees marched in ranks, ready to receive their gold anchors Sep. 16.
During the pinning ceremony, Makin Island’s Commanding Officer, Capt. James W. Landers, spoke to the crew, chief selectees and their families about the impact chief petty officers have on both officers and enlisted Sailors.
“I remember the minute I met the most memorable chief I have ever known,” Landers said. “I was a young ensign, just checking aboard my first ship and had near zero experience in shipboard affairs. He took a personal interest in me … I still talk to now retired Senior Chief Electronics Technician Craig Johnson, as I did when I took orders to Makin Island, for his guidance and mentorship.”
At the end of the ceremony, the soon-to-be chiefs stood at attention as the Chief Petty Officer’s Creed was read aloud.
“...by experience, by performance and by testing you have been this day selected to chief petty officer in the United States Navy, and only in the United States Navy the rank of E-7 carries with it unique responsibilities and privileges you are now bound to observe and expected to fulfill,” the creed states.
“I was so proud but a little bit anxious,” said Chief Engineman Alex V. Daplas. “Every single sentence in that CPO Creed was very challenging. I really felt that my entire life was changed and there’s no more turning back. Now I know that I have to face the responsibilities for my Sailors and I have to be ready for them now and every day!”
“It is very challenging but I’m very proud that I have attained the position of chief petty officer,” added Daplas. “The trust and integrity I have earned today are my guidelines to continue to face the challenges and to be a good chief petty officer of the Navy.”