VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Twelve Sailors assigned to Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach earned the title of “Chief” during a chief petty officer (CPO) pinning ceremony at Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit hangar bay onboard Naval Air Station Oceana, Sept. 13.
The rank of CPO was established April 1, 1893, and carries a legacy where CPOs are expected to act as naval leaders, technical experts, and custodians of naval tradition and heritage.
Prior to the ceremony, the selectees underwent a six-week training period known as CPO 365 Phase II. During this time, senior enlisted leaders introduced the chief selectees to multiple challenges designed to strengthen their leadership skills and provide a better understanding of what it means to be a Navy chief.
Chief Intelligence Specialist Jonna Marin, one of IWTC Virginia Beach’s newest CPOs, who has served on active duty for 11 years, described her sentiment after finally achieving this career milestone.
“Getting pinned to chief petty officer results in an overwhelming feeling of pride. There is nothing anyone can do to prepare for the lessons season will teach you, it was difficult in ways I didn’t know it could be. Never give up on your goals and remember it is never too early to start being the leader you always wanted to have,” said Marin.
After being pinned with their gold fouled anchors, each chief received a combination cover signifying a new position of leadership and responsibility. Chief Cryptologic Technician Technical Derek Taylor reflected on his career and offered a perspective to future chiefs.
“Getting pinned is an amazing accomplishment. It’s really hard to put into words what it feels like to have your name called. Going through the season has been a challenging, fun, and eye opening experience. My advice to others striving to be a chief petty officer is to never give up. Overcome every hurdle thrown your way. Don’t take no for an answer and achieve your goals where others have said you could not,” said Taylor.
IWTC Virginia Beach’s newest chief petty officers are:
Chief Information Systems Technician LaTia Anderson
Chief Fire Controlman Travis Boyd
Chief Intelligence Specialist Spencer Doyne
Chief Intelligence Specialist Brandon Emmons
Chief Information Systems Technician Scott Fitzgibbons
Chief Information Systems Technician Tonya Hughes
Chief Intelligence Specialist Casey Jones
Chief Intelligence Specialist Thomas Lindberg
Chief Intelligence Specialist Jonna Marin
Chief Information Systems Technician Aaron Pulvino
Chief Information Systems Technician Jerome Seegars
Chief Cryptologic Technician Technical John Taylor
“The honor of being selected for chief petty officer is not one to be taken lightly, being a chief doesn’t mean you’re above others, it means you’re supportive of others,” said Master Chief Intelligence Specialist Matthew Rodriquez, senior enlisted advisor, IWTC Virginia Beach. “Welcome to the mess, and never forget what you have done to get here.”
IWTC Virginia Beach, located in Dam Neck Annex, currently offers 65 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 280 military, civilian, and contractors who train over 6,500 students every year. It is one of four schoolhouses for Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), and oversees learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning information warfare community training.
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past three years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.