PACIFIC OCEAN– Chiefs aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) opened up the Chiefs Mess to their leading petty officers, work center supervisors, and junior Sailors for dinner.
“Right Hand Sailor Dinner” gave Chiefs an opportunity to show their appreciation to the Sailors who help them get the job done and bridge the gap between junior and senior enlisted.
“It was a decision to bring them into the Mess to show how you appreciate your right-hand Sailor because you truly cannot get the job done without them,” said Chief Master-at-Arms Erica Garcia, who invited Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bradley Allis. “After this, I hope they see us in a different light. Our Sailors always see us at work and in an official capacity. Now HM1 can actually see how much fun we have as a Mess and that it’s ok to talk about work, but in a different and more relaxed way.”
The duties and responsibilities of a chief petty officer can make connecting with junior Sailors difficult. The Chiefs Mess is the place on board each ship, away from junior Sailors and officers, where chiefs discuss business, training, or relax and reset.
“I got to see a different side of everyone in there, they are a lot more relaxed, and it definitely lifted up the veil on me,” said Allis. “You still feel the chiefs’ aura, but they were all so welcoming. It was nice to get a chance to sit, eat, and talk without having to worry about getting up to run somewhere, because both Chief and I are pretty busy people. Sometimes, we can only talk through email, but having the chance to chat it out and not worry about being interrupted was very cool.”
Eating dinner side by side and talking about the day in an informal environment allowed Sailors to see their senior leadership from a different perspective.
“The dinner was such a nice way for our leaders to show appreciation to us,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Isabella Tesch. “It really made my hard work feel validated.”
Chiefs aboard Paul Hamilton plan to continue incorporating junior Sailors into the Mess with similar events in the future.
Homeported in San Diego, Paul Hamilton is the 10th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and is part of the “Little Beavers” of Destroyer Squadron 23.