NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BREMERTON, Wash. – Chief petty officers (CPO) assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) took part in team building exercises over the course of the week leading up to the 123rd chief petty officer’s birthday on April 1.
The events from March 28 through April 1 included a three-on-three basketball tournament, several community relations events, a golf tournament, a fundraiser, a CPO muster on Nimitz’ flight deck for morning colors and a CPO cake cutting ceremony.
“This is my first time since I’ve made chief that we’ve had a whole week to celebrate the chief’s birthday,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Kim Schoenburg. “It gives the crew a chance to see us working together. There’s so much to be done, we couldn’t possibly take every single chief away from their post at one time, so this gives us an opportunity to all take a turn getting involved.”
While some expressed the importance of the acknowledgement of the chief petty officer’s birthday, others spoke on what being a chief meant to them.
“Short of being a Christian or a father, being a chief is the greatest thing I’ve ever became,” said Chief Religious Specialist Stanley Ponder. “Being in a position to have so much affluence in someone’s life and help them grow is truly an amazing thing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Before the establishment of the CPO rank the term ‘chief’ was assigned to the First Class Petty Officers who were most senior on the ship and assigned by the commander, such as Chief Boatswain’s Mate or Chief Gunner’s Mate.
Nimitz is currently undergoing an extended planned incremental maintenance availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility where the ship is receiving scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
Story by MCSR Cody Deccio