Several events were held last week at NAS Jacksonville and downtown Jacksonville in celebration of the U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officers' (CPOs) 124th birthday, which falls on April 1.
On March 30, CPOs spent the afternoon training first class petty officers on fleet requirements for advancement programs and selection boards. They concluded the training with a cake cutting/ice cream social.
The next morning, hundreds of chiefs from NAS Jax and tenant commands gathered at the Building 1 flagpole to participate in morning colors led by NAS Jax Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Jeff Waters.
Standing proudly at attention, the CPOs lined up in formation rendering honors and singing "Anchor's Aweigh" once the flag was raised.
Another group of chiefs from HSM-72 gathered at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial to participate in morning colors.
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast chiefs celebrated the birthday March 31, with a physical training session at the NAS Jax Antenna Farm. The group spent several hours running, doing calisthenics and team building events demonstrating the camaraderie of the command's chief's mess.
NAS Jax chiefs also participated in a formation march from the outdoor pool to Deweys where they celebrated with a birthday lunch.
Naval Hospital Jacksonville CPOs recognized the birthday with a cake cutting event March 31.
The rank of Navy chief petty officer was officially recognized on April 1, 1893, to differentiate senior enlisted leaders from other enlisted personnel. However, the term "chief" was used during the 1870s to refer to the petty officer who was the most experienced and senior member of a particular rating. Held in high regard throughout all the branches of the military, Navy chiefs bridge the gap between officer and enlisted ranks.