April 3, 2015 --
The Naval Branch Health Clinic, Albany was the scene where sailors and civilian personnel paused to commemorate and celebrate 122 years of the Navy’s chief petty officers’ service to the nation.
April 1, 1893, more than 100 years ago, chief petty officer was added to the Navy’s enlisted rank, according to historical facts shared at a cake-cutting ceremony held in recognition of its establishment, at NBHC Albany, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, April 1.
In his welcome to the event’s attendees, Petty Officer 1st Class Kishaun Jeffers commented on the significance and background of the day’s celebration.
“Today, April 1, 2015, is significant in our United States Navy history because on April 1, 1893, the rank/rate of chief petty officer was established,” Jeffers said to the crowd, who packed into the clinic’s conference room for the event.
After reading portions of a speech the former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Frank B. Kelso II, wrote honoring the service of chief petty officers to the Navy, Jeffers acknowledged the clinic’s “current” chief petty officer, Denise Galvan; former chief petty officers: Lt. Cmdr. Raymond Bristol, Lt. Cmdr. Donald Mitchell, Lt. Bruce Burke as well as retired chief petty officer, Linda Lewis.
The honorees received a round of applause and cheers from fellow service members and other attendees, after which Galvan and Lewis shared in the cake-cutting portion of the ceremony.
“For me, this is my first chief’s birthday,” Galvan admitted. “I was selected for chief six months ago, so I am just now starting to understand the significance of what it (means) to be a chief petty officer and what the birthday represents for us.”
Lewis, chief hospital corpsman, Preventive Medicine, USN, retired, discussed what it felt like to her when she was first promoted to chief petty officer.
“It took me 17 years to make chief,” Lewis recalled. “So, it was an awesome accomplishment for me. My goal was to retire as a chief and I did.”
Lewis also expressed her love for celebrations and how happy she felt when she was asked to participate in the cutting of the cake for the ceremony.
To read more about the history and the 122nd anniversary of the chief petty officer’s rank, visit the website: www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/organization-and-administration/ranks/enlisted-personnel/history-of-the-chief-petty-officer.html.