SAN DIEGO - 21 Sailors were advanced to the rank of chief petty officer (CPO) during a CPO pinning ceremony held on board the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), Sept. 14.
The Sailors, 20 assigned to Makin Island and one from embarked Amphibious Squadron Five, received their CPO collar devices and combination covers following six weeks of intensive training.
During the ceremony, Capt. Cedric E. Pringle, Makin Island's commanding officer, reminded the group of Sailors and their families about the duties and responsibilities of a CPO in today's Navy.
"As I told the group of selectees yesterday morning, everything is about to change," said Pringle. "The Navy will expect more from you, your Sailors will expect more from you, and I, your commanding officer, now expect more from you as well."
Makin Island Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Steve Alt stressed the importance of the transition from first class petty officer to chief petty officer during the ceremony.
"The last six weeks with the chiefs mess, the training, the mentorship and the transition was a formation of the Sailors from a first class petty officer to being accepted by the chiefs mess," said Alt. "We focused on changing attitudes from their personal achievements to group success and hammered out character development and humility."
Newly advanced Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) (AW/SW) Francisco Cayetano said it has been his goal to be a chief since he joined the Navy.
"I took on the most challenging billets and positions to get here," said Cayetano. "Since I joined the Navy I wanted to become one because of their dedication to train and mentor Sailors. I want to be that chief that continues the legacy."
Chief Electrician's Mate (SW/AW) Patrick David, who also received his anchors during the ceremony, said he advises first class petty officers who want to become CPOs to remain dedicated to their junior Sailors and the mission.
"We are all seeds that have been sowed by the chiefs that have come and gone before us," said David. "With constant resolve and perseverance, one day you will harvest the fruits of all the hard work that you've invested towards your Sailors, the mission and the Navy."
Makin Island recently returned from a seven-month deployment and was the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the ship saved over $15 million in fuel costs and the Navy expects to see fuel cost savings of more than $250 million, over the course of the ship's lifecycle. Lessons learned during Makin Island's maiden deployment prove the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation and will positively influence future ship designs for several decades.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.