By MCSA Rose Forest, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii
FLTCM (IDW/AW) Marco Ramirez (right) removes the anchors from SWC (SCW) Louis F. Salazar Jr. during his commissioning ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Photos by MC2 Class Dustin W. Sisco
SWC (SCW) Louis F. Salazar Jr. was commissioned to ensign during a ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Feb. 26.
“…the jobs that I was afforded to take on by my chain of command were key contributors to my selection,” said Ens. Salazar. “As always, hard work and dedication over the years finally paid off for me and my family leading to being commissioned as a limited duty officer.”
FLTCM Marco Ramirez removed Salazar’s anchors and chief’s cover, signifying leaving the Chiefs Mess. Salazar passed them on to BU1 Marco Wood with the expectation that he will wear them when he becomes a chief.
Ens. Louis F. Salazar Jr. passes his anchors to BU1 (SCW) Marco M. Wood during Salazar’s commissioning ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Salazar’s wife and children then placed the officer shoulder boards on his uniform and a new officer’s cover on his head.
“As soon as the message was released and I saw that my name was on the list, it was all too surreal,” said Salazar. “I immediately called my wife at work and broke the good news to her even though we had agreed that she wanted to know in person and not over the phone. I was too excited…to wait and tell her after work.”
Salazar is a master training specialist and the Navy League’s 2011 Admiral Claude V. Rickets Inspiration Leadership Award recipient, as well as the recipient of various other unit and campaign awards.
“He is an example that the Navy can make a difference in your life, as well as give you the opportunity to excel and progress,” said Ramirez. “He was selected as the Sailor of the Year for the entire Pacific Fleet…which houses about half of the entire Navy. It’s quite an honor [to be recognized] out of all those Sailors.”
A limited duty officer’s (LDO’s) commissioning ceremony marks a transition point in a career, from being an enlisted Sailor to being a naval officer. This background as an enlisted Sailor provides unique skills to the wardroom.
Eligibility requirements for LDO include U.S. citizenship, serving in pay grade E-7 through E-9, or an E-6 who has passed the exam for E-7 and been determined board eligible. Active-duty applicants for LDO must have at least eight, but not more than 15, years of active-duty service.