George Washington frocks new generation of petty officers
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- A group of 275 Sailors stood in formation while Capt. Greg Fenton, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), congratulates each of them on their advancement to the next paygrade during a frocking ceremony in the ship's hangar bay, May 30.
Frocking is a Navy tradition that dates back to the early 1800s that authorizes newly-advanced Sailors to wear the rank and assume the responsibilities of the paygrade for which they have been selected. However, these Sailors will not receive the higher pay until their actual advancement date.
"It's a great feeling to see the hard work of our Sailors pay off," said George Washington's Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt. "I've been to 56 frocking ceremonies and it never gets old. There's nothing better than seeing a Sailor advance to a new paygrade."
Among the Sailors who advanced in rank, 31 were frocked to the rank of petty officer first class, a significant career milestone in the Navy.
"It's an amazing feeling to reach the rank of E-6," Said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Michael Oot, from Syracuse, N.Y. "It took a lot of work and commitment, and now I'm just excited to carry on the traditions of the Navy, rise to the occasion and perform my new duties."
A total of 87 Sailors advanced to the rank of petty officer second class, and 157 Seaman, Fireman and Airman were frocked to petty officer third class.
"It feels great to finally be able to put on my first crow and become a petty officer," said Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Alexander Umana, from North Bergen, N.J..
The new petty officers inherit further responsibility in helping shape junior Sailors.
"Becoming a petty officer means I'll be looked at as more of a leader," said Umana. "I just hope I can take what I've learned since arriving on the ship and share it with the newer generation of George Washington Sailors."
George Washington uses a command program known as 'School of the Ship,' led by the ship's chiefs to teach Sailors general seamanship and in-rate knowledge from that rate's advancement bibliograpies. This training is aimed to give Sailors the knowledge they need to advance in rate.
"The biggest key to advancing in today's Navy is studying for the advancement exam," said Brahmsteadt. "Preparing for the exam, in combination with hard work, goes a long way toward achieving that next pay grade."
To download the bibliographies for an upcoming exam, go to the Navy Advancement Center's web portal on NKO at https://www.nko.navy.mil/group/navy-advancement-center/exam-bibliographies.
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.