By Julie M. Lucas

NAS Jacksonville Public Affairs

The Chief Petty Officers (CPO) from Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) and tenant commands celebrated 125 years of serving in the U.S. Navy with a week of activities.

“We wanted a week to show our Sailors what being a chief means, being a part of something bigger than just yourself,” said ADC Catherine Cameron of Fleet Readiness Center Southeast and CPO Association events coordinator.

A 5K run kicked off the week March 26 at the antenna farm. The first 200 finishers were given a special medal, to commemorate the significance of the years.

“For those who missed the run, we are also doing a virtual run, which can be completed at any time,” said Cameron.

Next up, was the annual CPO golf tournament in which players were broken into teams of four.

“This is an opportunity for all hands to come together and play a good game on the golf course,” said AWC Mike Ducker of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11. “This week was meant to reward chiefs for all their hard work.”

A Feed the Troops event was held March 28 at the barracks, with CPOs serving the junior Sailors. Cornhole, a bounce house, DJ music and other activities were available during the lunch.

“We expect so much of our Sailors that it was really nice to stop and give back to them,” said AOC Jeff Wainwright of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70.

According to Wainwright, nearly 700 Sailors were fed at the lunch.

The week finished off with the base CPOs gathering for colors at Building 1 March 29 and gathering for a group photo. Later that day, they marched in formation from the base outdoor pool to Dewey’s All Hands Club for lunch. During the march, passersby stopped and applauded the chiefs and took photos.

Cameron who happened to be the youngest “goat,” along with NAS Jax Command Master Chief Jeffery Waters, used a cutlass to cut a birthday cake during lunch.

“I have heard so many junior Sailors say this week, ‘I am really impressed seeing all our chiefs come together,’ and that’s what this is all about,” said Waters. “We are inspiring our next generation and I’m so proud of all of you.”

For those interested in participating in the virtual 5K and receiving a medal, contact Cameron by emailing: cpo125run@gmail.com.