JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Joint Base Charleston Sailors and Airmen completed the transition process from Petty Officer First Class to Chief Petty Officer and Technical Sergeant to Master Sergeant this month, which culminated with a pinning ceremony Sept. 15, 2017.
Naval Support Activity Command Master Chief Asa Worcester said the roughly six-week process provided meaningful training designed to help the new MSgts and CPOs develop their leadership skills.
"This transition helps create the mindset of being the CPO or the MSgt who the Sailors and Airmen are relying on. The initiation process crystalizes the concept of leadership through service," said Worcester. "The reason why I think it’s important for those from other services to participate in the initiation is they get to see something they don’t normally see from the outside. My CPO selects have learned a lot from our MSgt selects and vice versa. The interaction helps move Joint Base Charleston further into the joint culture we are proud to be a part of.”
Worcester said the common requirement for all successful Chief initiations is strong participation from the CPO Mess and the selectees.
“It was a great transition, during the process you need to remain humble and trust one another. Trusting each other was the most important part,” Chief Yeoman (sel.) Aaron Carter Naval Support Activity Charleston Admin Department’s Lead Petty Officer. “I really learned to rely on my brothers and sisters throughout the initiation.”
According to MSgt. (sel.) Jason Agnew, NCOIC of Network Infrastructure, the transition process was an interesting opportunity to experience the Navy culture.
"It’s never a bad thing to see more than one leadership style even if you have your own style of leadership," Agnew said. "I believe as we do more and more joint military operations this kind of joint training becomes paramount."
Each initiation, regardless of where it is being held, has its pros and cons, Worcester said.
“Doing it aboard a ship at sea, you get to spend a lot more time with the selectees in the Chief’s Mess because you have nowhere else to go,” said Worcester. “Here at Joint Base Charleston it was a bit more challenging to include the five different commands of the Lowcountry Chief Petty Officer Association. This Initiation Season we did a lot of combined activities with Naval Nuclear Power Training Command’s and Nuclear Power Training Unit’s Chiefs’ Messes which took a great deal of coordination. The last week was particularly difficult when things came up like Hurricane Irma. We had to pause the process, ensure everyone was evacuated and returned safely and then figure how to restart the initiation and finish strong.”
The initiation process came to completion following the CPO pinning ceremony Sept. 15, when the CPO selects across the installation put on their khaki uniforms and were pinned with their gold anchors.