Wasp Frocks 160 Stingers at Sea during homeport shift transit
The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) conducted a naval tradition by appointing more than 160 Sailors for advancement. For most of those Sailors, this was their first frocking.
Frocking is a tradition held by the Navy that celebrates Sailors’ advancements by awarding them the opportunity to wear their “crows” on their uniform and take on the responsibilities of their new rank prior to receiving pay for their promotion.
Sailors frocked during the ceremony were congratulated by the Capt. Andrew Smith, Wasp’s Commanding officer, Capt. John Howard, Wasp’s executive officer, and Command Master Chief Gregory Carlson.
“It’s a great feeling to have something on my collar now; it’s more or less a badge of honor,” said newly-frocked Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Christian Gambrell. “These crows are something that I can wear everyday saying, ‘I earned this.’’
With a broad spectrum of advancement opportunities throughout the rates, in many cases advancements depended on an individual’s initiative when it came to studying.
“When I heard my name on the 1MC, I could hardly believe it,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Jordan Lassiter. “I studied every day and made it a point to do so even when I didn’t want to. I’m still kind of shocked right now. If I can do it, anyone can.”
For some Sailors, hearing their name on the 1MC was less of a surprise, but was instead expected.
“Everyone is nervous once they make it to your letter in the alphabet, its inevitable,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Brandon Pope. “When I was first promoted as a petty officer, I couldn’t believe it. This time as I was waiting to hear my name, I was still nervous, but I knew my name was going to get called. I was so confident leaving the exam I didn’t have a doubt in my mind.”
As a Sailor rises through the ranks they are given increasingly more responsibility, not only as a petty officer, but as a leader and mentor to junior Sailors.
“I’ve had plenty of good leadership in my Navy career to teach me how to lead and represent the first classes, even as a second class.” said Ship’s Serviceman 1st Class Wallace Tyner. “This isn’t the final step; I’ve still got plenty of advancing to do in my Navy career.”
At the end of the ceremony everyone was dismissed from their ranks and Sailors returned to their duties, some taking a break from studying and some working even harder for their next advancement.
Wasp is transiting to Sasebo, Japan, to conduct a turnover with the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the forward-deployed flagship of the amphibious forces in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.