By Ensign Rebecca Speer, USS Stethem Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) celebrated the pinning of four chief petty officers (CPO) with a ceremony on the mess decks Sept. 16.
The ceremony began with the four new chief petty officers singing “Anchors Away” as they marched into position. They also sang “Song of the Seabees” in honor of the ship’s namesake Steelworker 2nd Class Robert Dean Stethem.
The ceremony continued with remarks by Stethem’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. John Bradford, who spoke about the creation of the rank of chief petty officer and how its creation was integral to the development of the professionalism of the U.S. Navy.
“The frocking of these four outstanding Sailors to the rank of chief petty officer provides us opportunity to reflect on the importance of the Chief,” said Bradford. “The establishment of the Chief Petty Officer rank in the 1890s marked an important milestone in the professionalization of the U.S. Navy and the value of that professionalism was clearly demonstrated in the World War II victories we won in the waters where we are currently operating. Today, while in the midst of Valiant Shield, a highly advanced exercise demonstrating the tremendous capability of our modern Navy. We are glad to congratulate these four new Chiefs.”
Following Bradford’s remarks, each new CPO received their gold anchor collar devices and presented their combination cover by their fellow Chiefs.
The pinning ceremony was simple, but encompassed everything that the newly pinned CPOs wanted.
“I could not have asked for more,” said Chief Fire Controlman Brian Dowty. “I was really happy with the support that I received from everyone onboard.”
Chief Information Specialist Shauntel Moon had the pleasure of pinning one of Stethem’s newest Chiefs.
“The CPO pinning is honestly my favorite day of the year in the Navy,” said Moon. “There is nothing more rewarding than pinning a new chief.”