By Ensign Alyson Eng, USS Shiloh Public Affairs
WATERS OFF THE COAST OF JAPAN (Sept. 16, 2016) – Two newly selected Chief Petty Officers (CPO) were pinned in a ceremony held on the flight deck of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), Sept. 16.
Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) Nao K. Mack, a native of Los Angeles, Calif., and Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) Johnathan F. Burgonio, from Baltimore, Md. were pinned during the ceremony.
Shiloh’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Adam Aycock, spoke at the ceremony saying, “They [Chief Petty Officers] are leaders who have been shaped by tradition, proven themselves in the most challenging situations, and ensure that the next generation of Chiefs are ready to stand the watch. Chiefs set the tone for the morale of a ship, maintain the standards of professionalism and ensure their Sailors have the technical expertise, the tools, and the confidence to do their jobs. We have no doubt that Chiefs Mack and Burgonio will live up to this noble standard.”
Before their promotion, Mack and Burgonio were named CPO selectees in port Singapore, but their training to become Chiefs began when they made the rank of first class petty officer.
Every first class petty officer participates in a two phase chief petty officer training program called CPO 365. This is where they receive various training, mentorship and guidance to learn the skills necessary to become Chief Petty Officers.
In the second phase of CPO 365, selectees are required to participate in a rigorous six-week program designed to test and develop their leadership capabilities. The selectees eagerly led physical training sessions, organized fundraisers, and worked in the galley mess lines serving meals to their shipmates. They continued this training through a Singapore port visit and an underway period.
Burgonio said, “I thank God for everything. I would not be here except for him and the strength he gave me during the Chief’s Season. I thank my wife and my children for their sacrifices. I want to be a model for the Sailors, to guide them to success. With God and the Mess behind me, I will serve my shipmates and my family with honor.”
After the promotion ceremony, the newly pinned Chiefs shared their thoughts about joining the historic Chief’s Mess.
Mack said, “I have an overwhelming feeling of joy to be in the [Chief’s] Mess. It is such an exclusive fraternity of brothers and sisters. I plan to be like the Chiefs I had when I was coming up, and I am excited to help out other Sailors. I hope to do the best I can for the Sailors, my family, and my chain of command.”