Guam Navy commands welcome new chiefs to the mess
SANTA RITA, Guam (Sept. 17, 2014) – Twenty-eight Sailors on Guam assumed the new role and responsibility of a chief petty officer (CPO) after receiving their anchors and covers during a pinning ceremony at The Big Screen theater on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Sept. 16.
Chief selects from Joint Region Marianas; NBG; Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1 Det. Guam; Naval Special Warfare Unit 1; Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5; Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Guam; Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133; Commander, Submarine Squadron 15; Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division Guam; USS Frank Cable (AS 40); U.S. Naval Hospital Guam; and Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka Site Marianas were piped aboard and welcomed into the Chiefs Mess.
“It’s a time-honored tradition,” said NBG Command Master Chief (SW) Johannes Gonzalez, who was the keynote speaker. “It’s always a new experience because you see the new blood coming into the mess and it’s simply motivating. It awakes you. It makes you want to go out there and continue to do great things for our Navy.”
Chief Yeoman (SW/AW/EXW) Shawn Alvarez, JRM, said the occasion was a highlight of his Navy career as he received his anchors from his children.
“Becoming a chief is a great honor,” he said. “I couldn’t be more humbled and appreciative of this opportunity that I’ve been given. My hope as chief is to have a positive impact on a junior Sailor’s career to make them want to strive to be a chief as the greatest reward as a chief is to watch the development and accomplishments of your junior Sailors.”
Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Lisa Uilani Vita, CRG-1 Det. Guam, was the only female who received her anchors during the ceremony. Vita said she was honored to stand alongside her fellow chiefs with whom she developed and shared a bond during initiation.
“Me and my brothers, we have a bond that won’t ever go away,” she said. “We rely on each other every day and you don’t build that overnight. It took six weeks but I can call them for anything. Most of the time I don’t realize I am the only female but they treat me just like they would each other.”
As dozens of family members, friends and colleagues congratulated each new CPO, Vita said she was moved as a seaman approached her and said Vita was her inspiration.
“I think for every first class (petty officer) their dream is to become a chief,” she said. “It’s moments like that, that remind you of when you were coming up and your goals of what you want to become. It’s definitely an honor and I love every bit of it.”