Navy promotes hundreds in Europe to chief petty officer
September 17, 2003
A few hundred sailors throughout Europe this week will don the khaki uniform and anchors of a chief petty officer.
Most of the new chiefs on bases and on ships were promoted Tuesday after a six-week transition period from petty officer first class to chief. During the transition period, the soon-to-be chiefs are told the day they are promoted will be the “happiest day of their life.”
For some this year, that might not be too far from the truth.
As Chief Petty Officer Michael Ewert of Naval Support Activity Naples Security started his morning at the base’s Carney Park recreation facility, he found out his wife, Donatella, was in labor. She delivered a 6-pound, 15-ounce girl, named Giodana Maria, at 9 a.m., in enough time for him to attend the late-afternoon ceremony.
In La Maddalena on the Italian island of Sardinia, Chief Petty Officer Jason Hodges received his anchors Wednesday from his father, Master Chief Petty Officer Jimmy Hodges.
To pin his son, the senior Hodges drove down from Stuttgart, Germany, where he is the senior enlisted member for the staffs of the U.S. European Command and Defense Information Systems Agency.
“I’m extremely proud that one of my children is wearing the same uniform that I am,” Jimmy Hodges said Monday. “I’m proud to have my son in my chief’s mess.”
He said that there were going to be tears in a few people’s eyes when he pins the anchors on his son.
“It’s not going to be a tissue day,” he said. “It’s going to be a towel day.”
What makes the pinning more special is that the junior Hodges is not even stationed in La Maddalena. He’s stationed aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based submarine USS Hampton. The Hampton is on deployment in the Mediterranean and was scheduled to be in port Wednesday.
Sailors in La Maddelena are being pinned a day later than most of the Navy’s new chiefs.