Santa Rita, Guam - The curtains opened to 25 spirited, singing Sailors, who were on the verge of becoming U.S. Navy chief petty officers (CPO) during a pinning ceremony at the Big Screen Theater aboard U.S. Naval Base Guam on the morning of September 14.

“Chief petty officers have been the backbone of the Navy,” said emcee Chief Master-at-Arms Evette Mcdowald of Coastal Riverine Group 1 Det. Guam. “The chief is the fountain of wisdom, the ambassador of goodwill, the authority on personnel relations, as well as the technical expert.

Mcdowald called attention to the group physical training, naval heritage education, participation in core values, and leadership and teamwork training sessions that comprised the six-week formation the selectees endured.  

“The process of initiation has been refined, and the name has changed over the years, but the spirit remains the same in constant, an initiation phase followed by a symbolic transformation,” she said.

Joint Region Marianas Command Master Chief Valissa Tisdale reminded the selectees of the demands and responsibilities of a naval chief, which have existed for over 100 years and offered the Sailors her wisdom and guidance.

“This ceremony is more than just a pinning. Today, 25 new chiefs will be formally welcomed and accepted as members of the world’s finest Chiefs Mess,” she said. ”They made it past a very high hurdle with the Chiefs Mess, but they need to understand that they have an even higher hurdle to conquer once they are known as the chief, and that hurdle is the Sailor.”

Tisdale reminded the selectees of their new responsibility as leaders for their enlisted Sailors. 

“Chiefs are the subject matter experts, chiefs are the team builders, chiefs are the communicators, chiefs educate and train junior officers, as well as junior Sailors, and, most of all, chiefs are leaders.”

The CPO selectees came together from each of their assigned commands: Commander, Joint Region Marianas; U.S. Naval Base Guam; U.S. Naval Hospital Guam; Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas; Navy Pay and Personnel Support Center Det. Guam; Naval Munitions Command Pacific East Asia Division Unit Guam; 30th Naval Construction Regiment; Naval Airborne Weapons Maintenance Unit 1; Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 Det. Guam; Coastal Riverine Group 1 Det. Guam; and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5.