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    Seeing in a Different Light USS Gerald R. Ford's Chief Pinning Ceremony 2021

    CPO Pinning

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class William Spears | Vessels and covers of USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) newest chief petty officers are...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman Jackson Adkins  

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)       

    Seeing in a Different Light USS Gerald R. Ford's Chief Pinning Ceremony 2021
    By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jackson Adkins
    USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs
    NORFOLK, Va. - The fouled anchor is the emblem of the chief petty officer of the United States Navy. Attached to the anchor is a length of chain and the letters U.S.N. The "U" stands for unity, "S" stands for service, and "N" stands for navigation. The fouled anchor symbolizes the trials and tribulations that every chief must endure on a daily basis. To the novice, the anchor chain and letters only identify a chief, but, to a chief, these have a more noble and glorious meaning.
    Justin Knighton dropped out of high school his senior year and decided he needed a push in the right direction. "One day I woke up and decided I needed to change my life. So, I decided to join the Navy," stated Chief Aviation Boatswains Mate (Equipment) Justin Knighton, from Euless, Texas, leading chief petty officer of Ford's bow catapults.
    Whether Knighton knew it or not he found that push. He would become a chief petty officer in the United States Navy 13 years down the line.
    Becoming a chief meant a lot to Knighton and his family. His wife's grandfather is a retired Chief Hospital Corpsman.
    "It was a very happy moment for me when I got to tell my wife," said Knighton.
    Being a chief is more than wearing anchors and getting to eat in the chiefs mess. The title comes with much responsibilities, to Knighton it means completely switching roles.
    "As a chief petty officer, that's kind of turning point, it's time for you to give back," said Knighton. "It's time for you to make sure that your junior Sailors all the way up to your first class petty officers have the same opportunities, if not better than what you had so they can promote and be your replacement."
    To Chief Electricians Mate Nuclear Katherine Nakaya, from Nenifee, California, Ford's reactor department career counselor, being a chief and going through chief season means a certain camaraderie that only comes with being a part of the community.
    "One of the reasons I joined the Navy was to experience the camaraderie," said Nakaya. "Seeing the camaraderie in the [chiefs] mess has been eye opening for me."
    Although chief season this year may have been slightly different because of COVID-19. 28 chief selects participated in Ford's chief season this year. With Virginia States COVID-19 guidelines group gathering are limited to ten so some activities were altered by breaking into smaller groups.
    However, this did not stop Knighton or Nakaya from having a memorable experience.
    "It's something I'm fortunate enough to experience. Some people will never get the opportunity to experience, you only become a chief one time," said Nakaya.
    Chief season is meant to break down selects and build them back up to better themselves for the title for which they will hold.
    "Things I had seen before and been around before are now viewed in a different light," said Knighton.
    Knighton and Nayaka along with 21 other chief selects received their anchors in Ford's hangar bay February 6, 2021. Ford's remaining five chief selects will be pinned at a later date.
    For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit



    Date Taken: 02.06.2021
    Date Posted: 02.10.2021 15:52
    Story ID: 388807
    Location: US

    Web Views: 1,670
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