JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, –
Editorial note: This is the second of several commentaries from Sailors addressing what it means to be a Navy Chief. These brief articles will run through the month of September and will culminate with the Navy Chief's pinning ceremony September 16, 2016.
I have been in the Navy for just over 13 years now and have been married to my high school sweetheart, Keri, for more than a decade. We also have three wonderful children. The family we’ve built together is the major motivation in my naval career. Just recently, I received the best career news ever….I had been selected to become a Navy Chief Petty Officer.
Being a Chief Petty Officer means you are on the frontlines for your people. You are their leader and their mentor. You are there to guide and steer them in the right direction. Wearing the khaki uniform with the gold fouled anchor collar device means you have worked hard to get to where you are. However, reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer is not a feat accomplished alone. Many of those I worked with and for contributed to my professional success. The title “The Chief,” should not be taken lightly. It is earned and revered.. In describing a Navy Chief, the term “humble” is used frequently. Navy Chiefs understand the team concept and what it means to influence a whole group to function as one. Being “The Chief” means deferring personal accolades in favor of recognizing your people for their efforts.
I have worked for most of my career to reach this monumental goal and throughout the whole process, Navy Chiefs have shown me the way.
Finally, my family’s support and sacrifices have enabled me to reach this career achievement. My wife is my rock. She taught me what it takes to be a good person and a great leader. She takes care of the family while I am away, at work or when I am deployed. I can rest easy knowing she has the helm. She keeps our family afloat. My three children are huge motivators. They keep me pushing forward, always knowing they will follow my example.
“The Chief” -- words can’t explain what it feels like to have earned the title. I am honored to wear the anchor and carry on the tradition.