Americas Chiefs Open Mess Doors to Junior Sailors

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The chief petty officers assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) hosted a "right-hand person" luncheon in the Chiefs Mess, Feb. 8.

The right-hand person luncheon is an event used to recognize hard-working Sailors by inviting them to eat with their chief in the Chiefs Mess. The lunch is held once each quarter and gives chiefs the opportunity to show their Sailors appreciation for the hard work they do every day.

"Events like this help boost morale," said America Command Master Chief Kenneth Robertson. "The more you do for your Sailors, the harder they are going to work for you, and you will get more support from them."

America chiefs each picked one Sailor in their department who showed outstanding performance throughout the quarter. This was an opportunity to reward Sailors for their performance, and helped foster a deeper working relationship with their leaders.

"Having the chance to be among my senior leadership definitely shows that our chiefs look out for us," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Nichole Wood. "It represents that we aren't all separated and that we all work together to accomplish the same mission."

This event was also a chance for E-6 and below to speak more candidly in a relaxed environment about how things are generally going. This opened constructive dialogue which better equips the Chiefs Mess to lead successful divisions and departments.

"It is quite an eye-opening experience," said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 2nd Class Michael Mandfe. "Being invited here really shows me that my leadership has a lot of faith in me, and that they believe that I do the right thing as a Sailor."

Chief Personnel Specialist Omar Saliba said every Sailor is important in maintaining a balanced naval force, but petty officers first class, who will one day wear anchors, will be even more successful as a team.

"We were able to show them the unity of the mess and how we come together as one," said Saliba. "The first class is very important. They are going to be the future of the Navy, and we are training them and showing them that we are united and how the mess operates. It is vital for a chief to show that right hand person the way to become a chief one day."

The lessons and mentorship are not overlooked by the ones who look for direction in becoming a chief.

"This means a lot to me," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Emmanuel Adjasu. "We get to sit with our mentors and learn all that we can from them in a non work-related environment."

As senior and junior leadership work together to achieve the same goal, occasions like these help keep the bond between a chief petty officer and a subordinate strong.

"There are always hard-working junior Sailors out there," said Robertson. "I look forward to doing many more events like this that show the junior Sailors that we see what they are doing and we appreciate all of it."

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