By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter Burghart
YOKOSUKA, Japan – The chief petty officers (CPO) of Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) continued the proud 122 year tradition as 17 new chiefs received anchors and donned their khaki covers in a pinning ceremony held at the base’s Fleet Theater, Sept. 16.
“Today is not an ending, but really a beginning,” said ceremony guest speaker, Command Master Chief Joseph Fahrney, Command Master Chief of Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ). “It’s a beginning in which they will continue to grow and develop in their roles and leadership responsibilities.”
The pinning ceremony marks the completion of the six-week Phase II of the CPO 365 program. The program takes first class petty officers and molds them into chiefs by teaching them the importance of the chief’s mess, team work and what is expected of them as chiefs, said Fahrney.
“None of our other components go through such a remarkable transition where we focus all our efforts over a six-week period to clearly break professional growth and development up to that point, draw a line in the sand, put anchors on those chiefs,” says Fahrney. “That is very unique to the Navy and is unique to what our heritage has been about since 1893.”
The grade of chief petty officer was established on April 1, 1893 by General Order 409, and chiefs have been leading the way on the Navy’s deck plates ever since.
“It was a great experience,” said Chief Culinary Specialist Marcela Ganoza, who was pinned Sept. 16. “I can’t wait to get started with this tomorrow.”
“Each of CFAY’s new chiefs now knows what it truly means to be a part of the mess,” said Fahrney. They (the new CPOs) know how it feels. Passing this milestone in their careers does give way to new goals.
“A chief petty officer is (one) that Sailors or anyone can come to, a mentor, a teacher, a confidante; a person a Sailor can trust,” says Ganoza. “I want to be that role model.”
Following the ceremony, the new chiefs were congratulated by their families, and their Sailors before heading off to a reception in a place they could now call their own, the Chief’s Mess.
CFAY provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed naval forces, 83 tenant commands, and 24,000 military and civilian personnel.