29 Yokosuka-based sailors become chief petty officers
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Most are tired.
All are proud.
And as of Friday, they now are chief petty officers in the U.S. Navy.
After a six-week induction process that stressed teamwork, tradition and leadership, new chiefs across the Pacific donned their khakis and pinned on their anchors.
New Chief Petty Officer Charlie C. Odom III, one of 34 sailors who were pinned Friday at Camp Foster, Okinawa, said he was “tired, but very excited. I’m ready to start my new job on Monday.”
He called the promotion and induction process “very, very challenging but I was proud to be part of it.”
At the pinning ceremony on Yokosuka Naval Base, the guest speaker, Commander, Naval Forces Japan, Rear Adm. James Kelly, told the packed Fleet Theater that “there is no more powerful group of leaders in the Navy” than chief petty officers.
“They are the folks that people like me rely on to tell us when we are messing up and when we are on target,” Kelly said.
Having returned to Yokosuka two hours earlier, 29 sailors from USS Kitty Hawk, Destroyer Squadron 15, and Task Force 70 became chiefs during a ceremony on the aircraft carrier’s flight deck.
Chief Petty Officer Elison Talabong said making the rank was a “very humbling” process.
“There were a lot of things that I thought I knew that actually I didn’t know,” he said.
Stars and Stripes reporter Cindy Fisher contributed to this report.