By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason J. Behnke, Amphibious Squadron 5 Public Affairs
USS PEARL HARBOR, At sea - Thirty three Sailors aboard dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) had their new rank to be thankful for this Thanksgiving after they were frocked to the next higher pay grade, Nov. 24.
Although Pearl Harbor is currently on a scheduled deployment and the Sailors spent the holiday away from family, the frocking ceremony helped boost their spirits.
"It feels good," said Yeoman 3rd Class Corey Gathings. "It was a long time coming, but I'm ready to show off my leadership skills and get some more responsibility."
Gathings and the other Sailors who advanced to the rank of petty officer 3rd class, learned some new leadership skills prior to being frocked. They received a two-day petty officer indoctrination course on leadership and responsibility thanks to the help of other leaders on the ship.
"We go over diversity, leadership, courage, standing up for what you believe in, holding yourself to a higher standard and a whole lot more," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Keerat Singh, a petty officer indoctrination class instructor.
The instructors said they take pride in guiding the newly selected petty officers.
"We do our best to teach them all we can in the short time we have with them," said Yeoman 1st Class Jason McClinton, another indoctrination instructor. "But learning is a continuous thing. It takes a lot of trial and error; the course is a great introduction."
In addition to the advancements, the frocking ceremony gave Pearl Harbor's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Homer Denius, a chance to recognize others aboard the ship and present a variety of awards and citations.
"It's definitely one of the best things about my job," said Denius. "And when I get to frock this many Sailors and also recognize the achievements of so many others on the same day, it's just a great feeling."
Pearl Harbor deployed Nov. 14 in support of the nat'ion's maritime strategy, along with amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), and Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Group, which make up the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
The mission of the Makin Island ARG is to help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the nation's maritime strategy when forward deployed.