By Clark Pierce
The NAS Jacksonville CPO 365 training season came to a close Sept. 16 with pinning ceremonies for new chief petty officers held at various locations around the base. Nine of those new chief petty officers were "pinned and covered" by family members and sponsors at NAS Jacksonville Hangar 117.
The event began at 10 a.m. as the CPO Selects proudly sang "Anchors Aweigh" as they entered the hangar and lined up in front of the audience.
The rank of CPO is a dual role in the Navy - that of a technical expert and that of a deckplate leader. CPO 365 is the modern training course that all new Chiefs now experience before receiving their golden fouled anchors collar device.
Master of Ceremonies AMC(AW/SW) Joanna Madrid welcomed the guests and stressed the importance of the ceremony.
"You are here today because you have already demonstrated your deckplate leadership, professionalism, loyalty, character and commitment," said Madrid. "You're here today because you have persevered through long deployments, tough assignments, and difficult family separations. We salute every family member here for your support of our new chiefs and your Navy. They could not have achieved this wonderful milestone without you."
The guest speaker was former NAS Jacksonville Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Brad Shepard, who checked in 2010 to support more than 110 tenant commands encompassing 9,000 service members and 10,000 civilian employees. During his tenure, Shepard helped implement the CPO 365 model that is now navy wide. He concluded his 30-year naval career in July 2014 and transitioned to customer support for aircraft and components at the Defense Logistics Agency in Jacksonville
After recognizing spouses and family members, several traditional readings were presented before selectees were officially "pinned and covered."
All current and retired CPOs were asked to stand for the reading of the "CPO Creed" by NAS Jax Command Master Chief CMDCM (AW/SW) Jeffery Waters.
After each new Chief was congratulated by family and mentors, they were then welcomed into the Chiefs Mess and saluted by fellow chief sideboys.