PENSACOLA, Fla. -- In the spirit of U.S. Navy tradition and in compliance with the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 mitigation measures, Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station conducted individual department-level frocking ceremonies recently.
"I am definitely excited to be frocked to petty officer first class by my wife and daughter,” said Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Garrett Sorely said, who was frocked during the ceremony. "It feels good to fulfill what seems to be unreachable goal after working hard and see a lot of Sailors get promoted to first class petty officer.”
This was the first time Sorely’s family was a part of a Navy tradition since he was underway during his last two frocking ceremonies.
“That was probably the most special and surreal moment,” said Brittany Sorely, spouse of Sorely. “Knowing how hard he worked these past four years and living through sacrifices we’ve both had to make just figuring out this lifestyle together is very rewarding.”
Sorely was excited to be promoted and already set on his next goals are to qualify as an instructor, finish a college degree and pursue a commissioning program.
“I feel very honored to stand in front of all the Sailors and to be part of a long-standing Navy tradition,” said Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 3rd Class David Miller, a student who was also frocked at IWTC Corry Station. “My father is a retired master chief and growing in a Navy family, I understand the weight of being advanced to third class petty officer and it’s a step towards a leadership role.”
Miller is one of the first cryptologic technician (maintenance) rated-Sailors to be advanced under the Navy’s Advanced Electronics/Computer Field (AECF) program where Sailors are offered extensive training in all aspects of electronics including computer systems, radar, communications systems, and weapons fire control systems such as the Navy's advanced Aegis radar and missile system. The standards for selection for enlistment in the Navy's AECF program are very competitive.
Under the program, Sailors enter as an E-1, or seaman recruit. Advancement to pay grade E-2, seaman apprentice, are made after successful completion of recruit training.
Advancement to E-3, seaman, are made after completion of all advancement-in-rate requirements, including minimum time and course work. Advancement to petty officer third class are made after successful completion of initial school training and after all advancement-in-rate requirements, including minimum time and course work, are completed. Advancement to E-3 and E-4 are contingent upon maintaining eligibility in the AECF program.
“It is very cool to be one of the first CTMs to advance in the AECF program,” said Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 3rd Class Wesley McDowell, another student who was frocked at IWTC Corry Station. “I feel a sense of increased responsibility and expectations from the senior Sailors that I look up to.”
McDowell added he felt proud and acknowledged after being frocked by one of his instructors who imparted their technical knowledge and at-sea experience.
“I personally like the old-school tradition of having each petty officer sew the crow on a newly advanced Sailor,” said Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Brice Patat, an IWTC Corry Station instructor. “With the new uniforms, there are some modifications with the old traditions, but it is still an honor to frock a junior Sailor that thinks highly of you.”
The practice of frocking in the Navy dates back to 1802 when personnel wore the uniform of the next highest rank to assume the duties and responsibilities of that rank. Today's frocking ceremonies are a testament of how traditions may come and go, but they are still part of our naval heritage.
“It’s amazing when you see your Sailors advance and having their family members be a part of it,” said Lt. Anthony Sanchez, an IWTC Corry Station department head. “I know how it feels to start from E-1 and continuously take the advancement exam until you finally advance.
Sanchez added that it is a unique experience to conduct the frocking ceremony in a department- level while taking safety precautions against COVID-19 in order to safeguard its service members and families.
IWTC Corry Station is a part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT). With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering 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 domain, visit www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.