During the traditional ceremony, each sailor to be promoted had their cover placed on their head, finalizing the promotion.
“A lot of the tradition is about the cover,” said Mejia. “It covers half of their face so they can’t be seen as individuals. When you see a group of chief petty officers you can’t see who is who, but you know they are all chiefs. It’s about making everyone closer as a group and not individuals.”
The journey to being a chief petty officer isn’t the easiest and can present challenges along the way, but these sailors went above and beyond to triumph in their career.
“I didn’t see myself making it past four years,” said Chief Petty Officer Lamonica Harrison, chief hospital corpsman with MCAS Iwakuni’s base health clinic. “It was a struggle coming into the military, leaving family and making some of the sacrifices I did. Making it here took a lot, especially the six weeks of training we had. It really opened my eyes to what it actually takes to be a chief.”
Following the ceremony, the newly promoted chief petty officers duties’ are effective immediately within their commands.
“I have to focus on getting back to my sailors and pursuing my command’s mission,” said Harrison. “The over-all goal is to continue forward progress and hopefully that will lead me to some stars in the future.”
Now part of a group of renowned leaders, the newly promoted chief petty officers carry on the pride and traditions that have been embedded within the Navy.
“I’m proud of each of the sailors who pinned on chief petty officer today,” said Mejia. “They should be proud as well. This is something they will cherish for the rest of their life.”