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NBHC Albany sailors achieve new rank at frocking ceremony

By Verda L. Parker | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | June 1, 2015


A crowd of well-wishers hailed six sailors at the Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany located at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, who advanced through the ranks in a ceremony held, here, May 28.

Standing at attention before a formation of fellow corpsmen, HM2 Ricky Cuevas; HM3 Cholee Ward; HN Aundrea Maddox and HN Roderick Frederick received promotion letters and were frocked with their new ranks during the event.

Lt. Cmdr. Raymond Bristol, officer-in-charge, NBHC Albany, presented the commendations and commented on the achieved promotions to “the troops” on deck.

“One of the few good things that we can do as leadership is recognize (outstanding accomplishments) with awards and those kinds of things,” Bristol said. “It is a great honor for me to participate in this (event) on behalf of the leadership.”

After congratulating the sailors on their achievement, Bristol introduced “the Skipper,” Capt. John LeFavor, commanding officer, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida, who addressed the sailors, encouraged them to enjoy (their advancement) and to use their new rank to assist junior sailors.

“Congratulations to all of you for a job well deserved, well done, well earned,” LeFavor said. “Keep studying and keep working. Help those (who) maybe didn’t make it this cycle. Reach back and help others advance and make their positions in life better.”

Senior Chief Petty Officer David Ocheltree, senior enlisted leader, NBHC Albany, who narrated the event and read the guidelines/stipulations, commented on the promotions as well as the significance of the frocking ceremony.

“Today was a promotion ceremony for (the clinic’s) junior sailors,” Ocheltree said. “We had four sailors getting promoted today and there are two additional sailors, who are getting promoted, but they are on leave today. There will be another frocking ceremony for them when they return.”

According to Ocheltree the frocking is a pre-promotion ceremony and the official promotion dates may vary depending on the individual sailor’s cutting score from his or her advancement exam.

“Historically, the Navy is unique from the different branches of service in that we can frock our sailors as early as E-4,” Ocheltree added. “The other services, (including) the Marine Corps, don’t (frock) until around E-8 or E-9. Frocking simply means to go ahead and to pick or to advance in one’s career. The paperwork itself doesn’t come until later and that’s when it actually changes from a frock to a promotion.”

Newly-frocked sailor, HM3 Aundrea Maddox, expressed his feelings on his new rank and offered accolades to his fellow sailors.

“I am here to be frocked as Petty Officer 3rd Class,” Maddox said. “I have (reached) a milestone in my career and (it) feels awesome to have achieved this promotion. I would also like to congratulate all of our petty officer selectees, to wish them well in their future and to hope for their best.”

Also promoted to the next rank, but were not present at the frocking ceremony, were HM3 Nicholas Gilchrist and HN Benjamin Rozeboom.

The frocking ceremony, where sailors receive the right to wear the uniform and assume the responsibilities of their next rank, is a Navy tradition that precedes actual advancement. Sailors are then advanced in pay over the course of three cycles throughout the year, according to the website: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=74537.