News: USS Blue Ridge pinning ceremony
YOKOSUKA, Japan – USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and U.S. 7th Fleet staff celebrated the pinning of 15 new chief petty officers Friday, Sept. 13 at the Officer's Club on Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.
The ceremony marked the culmination of CPO 365 Phase II training which introduced the new chiefs to challenges designed to strengthen and enhance leadership skills.
“It took me 17 years to get this point, and this is one of the proudest moments of my life,” said Chief Personnel Specialist Kerri Scranton. “Now that training is over and I can wear the chief uniform, I feel I can lead at a higher level and have a greater impact on junior Sailors.”
When it came time to put on the anchors and don the cover, the chiefs had fellow chief and officer mentors, friends and family pin the collar devices.
“It's a great honor to be here today with my daughters and be able to put the anchors on my wife,” said Mike Ewton, husband of Chief Mass Communication Specialist Heather Ewton. “This event means the entire world to our family.”
After the pinning ceremony, Master Chief Machinist's Mate Gilfredo Belantes read the Chief Petty Officer's Creed while new chiefs gathered on stage to sing “Anchors Aweigh” to mark the end of the ceremony, and the beginning of their new journey as chief petty officers.
“I'm honored beyond words to be a part of something bigger than myself,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Jamie Propst. “I am anxious to embark on this new journey as a chief, and to truly become the cause of the ripple effect in the pool of heritage and tradition.”
After the ceremony, the newly pinned chiefs stayed on stage and were congratulated by fellow chiefs, officers, friends and family.
“Being congratulated and called chief by my mentors, friends and family was truly one of the best experiences of my life,” said Propst.