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    Ford Pins Forty-One Chiefs

    GRF Chief Pinning

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Angel Jaskuloski | USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) Command Master Chief (CMC) Bryan Davis, bottom center,...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Angel Jaskuloski 

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)     

    Forty-one new USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) chief petty officers were pinned during a ceremony held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Newport News, Virginia, Nov. 19.

    The ceremony was the conclusion to “chief season” in which chief-selects underwent six weeks of training to bridge the gap between the junior and senior enlisted ranks.

    “Chiefs are the backbone of the Navy and leave a major footprint,” said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Carl Higdon, from Newark, New Jersey, assigned to Ford’s air department. “Chief season is primarily about transitioning a Sailor from a first class petty officer into a chief petty officer that understands the traditions, standards and responsibilities of a chief.”

    Along with group training, each chief-select was paired with a seasoned chief to receive one-on-one mentorship.

    “I’ve been through a lot of chief seasons but this season in particular meant a lot to me and I wanted to make sure I had a lasting impact,” said Higdon. “Every step from the beginning to the end had a purpose and meaning behind it. This knowledge is now in their tool-bag to bring back to their divisions and be the leaders that we need and expect them to be.”

    While some of the wisdom gained was objective, such as naval heritage and history, some were more philosophical and manifested from the challenges of the season.

    “I learned the importance of trust and asking for help,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Indigo Hart, from Baltimore, assigned to Ford’s combat systems department. “Leaders should be empathetic and understanding to what others are going through, as well as be able to ask for help themselves. You don’t have to do everything on your own.”

    This lesson was especially valuable to Hart when a family member was diagnosed with cancer in the midst of chief season.
    “My Navy family knew that I had some personal matters to take care of and they told me to go and make sure that I saw her,” said Hart. “Both of my families took care of me this season.”

    During the ceremony, the chief-selects received their covers from their mentors and had their anchors pinned on by their family members or friends.
    “I found out on Oct. 4 that I was selected for chief, and my grandmother came down at the drop of a dime so that I could make the early physical trainings and stay late to participate in class trainings,” said Hart. “This was the first time in my Navy career that I’ve been able to have my family here, so it was amazing to be pinned by the people that I love and care about most.”

    Command Master Chief (CMC) Bryan Davis congratulated the new chiefs during a speech and expressed his pride in their growth as people and leaders.

    “I can say this about class 128—you are resilient. No other class in my six years as a CMC have I witnessed so many trials and tribulations off-work as I have witnessed this year. Even with everything going on, you kept moving forward and learned to lean on the [chiefs] mess and ask for help,” said Davis. “You have earned your anchors and it’s time to walk away from the season and go lead your Sailors.”



    Date Taken: 11.19.2021
    Date Posted: 11.23.2021 07:15
    Story ID: 409868
    Location: HAMPTON, VA, US 

    Web Views: 186
    Downloads: 0