Three Deployed NMCB 1 Seabees Pinned to Chief Petty Officer

By MC1 Brannon Deugan, NMCB 1 

Chief petty officer pinning ceremony at Naval Station Rota, Spain

CECS Jennifer Read places a combination cover on her husband, SWC Jason Read, NMCB 1, during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony on board Naval Station Rota, Spain, Sept. 16. (Photo by MC1 Brannon Deugan/150916-N-SD965-064)

Three Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 Seabees were pinned to chief petty officer during deployments to Rota, Spain and Guam, Sept. 16.

Chief Steelworker Jason Read, Chief Builder Patrick Smith and Chief Builder Ricky Bonds found out on Aug. 6 they were selected for promotion, and have been anticipating pinning with the gold fouled anchors on their lapels and having the combination cover of a chief petty officer ceremoniously positioned on their head.

“It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my naval career,” said Smith, deployed to Rota, Spain. “To have my mentors with me to cover and pin me was great.”

The ceremony is a major milestone in an enlisted member’s naval career and most often spent with families and friends. However, the deployment left the celebration with family and friends to a minimum and even more meaningful for those able to spend it with loved ones.

“Being pinned was awesome,” said Read, deployed to Rota, Spain. “My wife was able to fly here from Gulfport and pin me. It was one of the highlights of my day.”

The three newly appointed chiefs spent six weeks undergoing intense training for CPO (Chief Petty Officer) 365 Phase Two, a Navy-wide initiative for senior leaders to introduce the chief selects to challenges designed to strengthen leadership skills and provide a better understanding of what it means to be a Navy chief. Phase Two also included training on the history and traditions of the CPO Mess, tough physical challenges, mentorship and many other responsibilities.

“Phase Two was the most challenging and beneficial experience I have ever been through,” said Smith. “You learn a lot about yourself and how other Sailors think. I am happy to say I am a better leader today because of Phase Two.”

Chief petty officer pinning ceremony at Naval Station Rota, Spain

NMCB 1’s BUC Patrick Smith (center) is pinned with gold fouled anchors by BUC Eric Dirk (second from left) and ITCS Randy Williamson (right) during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony on board Naval Station Rota, Spain, Sept. 16. (Photo by MC1 Brannon Deugan/150916-N-SD965-082)

Phase Two for Naval Station Rota was a base-wide evolution that involved 21 Sailors and one U.S. Air Force Airman. These newly pinned chiefs were not only challenged mentally and physically, but were also able to make new friends during the six weeks.

“It was probably one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of my career,” said Read. “I was able to meet people that I might have never gotten a chance to meet outside of this tradition.”

The transformation through Phase Two and being pinned to the pay grade of E-7 signifies more responsibility and increased expectations while joining the longstanding tradition of the Chief’s Mess.

“Your entire way of life has now changed,” said Naval Station Rota’s Command Master Chief Delbert Terrell, who read the CPO Creed during the chief pinning ceremony on board Naval Station Rota. “More will be expected of you. More will be demanded of you. Not because you’re an E-7, but because now you’re a chief petty officer. You have not merely been promoted one pay grade; you have joined an exclusive fraternity.”

Chief petty officer pinning ceremony at Naval Station Rota, Spain

SWC Jason Read, NMCB 1, is piped aboard to the chief’s mess during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony on board Naval Station Rota, Spain, Sept. 16. (Photo by MC1 Brannon Deugan/150916-N-SD965-074)

Chief petty officer pinning ceremony at Naval Station Rota, Spain

BUC Patrick Smith, NMCB 1, is piped aboard to the chief’s mess during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony on board Naval Station Rota, Spain, Sept. 16. (Photo by MC1 Brannon Deugan/150916-N-SD965-105)

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