SASEBO, Japan—Six 1st Class Petty Officer’s aboard USS Patriot (MCM 7) discovered they were selected to become Chief Petty Officers when a call came in to the ship’s quarterdeck at 2:45 a.m. on August 12.
“When they woke me and told me the Captain wanted to see me in his cabin, I thought I had done something wrong,” admitted Damage Controlman 1st Class Arturo Chavez-Gonzalez, who was one of the six selected to advance.
With her crew of 86 Sailors, Patriot had the honor of six out of 10 of her eligible 1st Class Petty Officers becoming 2010 Chief Petty Officer (CPO) selects.
Patriot’s Command Master Chief, Brent H. Tidwell, was the first to break the news with the call to the Captain. “I got the gouge on goatlocker.org and Face Book that the results were out,” said Tidwell. He wasted no time in phoning Patriot to verify the results through official message traffic on who had made the cut.
Patriot’s number of selectees compares well with the other vessels that make up Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, which includes ships with crews many times Patriot’s size. Only two other ships in the Task Force 76 had more CPO selectees: USS Essex (LHD 2) with 15 and USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) with nine.
“I am honored to be apart of this crew and look forward to getting these new Chiefs in our Mess,” said Tidwell.
Among the other proud selectees chosen to wear Chief anchors were Engineman 1st Class Vincent S. Ayala Casillas, who made the cut on his first attempt; Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SW) Bryan E. Docker; Quartermaster 1st Class (SW/AW) Daniel A. King; Logistics Support Specialist 1st Class (SW) Patrick I. Lampley; and Engineman 1st Class (SW) Austin L. Brittain, who was selected early.
Patriot had high expectations for their pool of 1st Class Petty Officers from the beginning. “At the end of the day,” reflected Lt. Cmdr. Walt Mainor, commanding officer of Patriot, “these men are the deck plate leaders that our younger Sailors emulate and learn from. They are the building blocks of the United States Navy and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Mainor later added in a meeting with the CPO Selectees. “Putting on khaki is a whole other level. I will look at you differently. I will speak to you differently. I will expect more from you. Make no mistake about it, gentlemen, you’ve earned this. Congratulations.”
In 2010 Patriot was awarded her fourth consecutive Battle “E”, third consecutive “Golden Anchor” Award, advanced a Senior Chief to Master Chief and has seen 33 percent of her Chiefs advance to Senior Chief.