PENSACOLA, Fla. — A 1982 Holy Cross High School graduate and Chalmette, Louisiana native commemorated the end of his naval career with a retirement ceremony held at the National Naval Aviation Museum on Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, Oct. 21.
Friends, family and fellow Sailors recognized Master Chief Petty Officer Frank Carollo for his accomplishments throughout a career that spanned more than three decades.
Master Chief Petty Officer Shawn Coursen spoke about Carollo's service to the Navy and the impact he had on his fellow Sailors.
"I look at today as a wonderful day for Frank but also a sad day because the Navy is losing a truly caring leader," said Coursen. "He would always make time for any Sailor, Soldier, Airman or Marine. He has shaped and molded thousands of future naval leaders, and these same Sailors will carry on his legacy for years to come."
During the ceremony, Carollo received the Meritorious Service Medal for his achievements as the Information Systems Technician "A" and "C" schools leading chief petty officer, overseeing both initial and advanced skills training for Sailors preparing for the information technology field, as well as leading chief of the Naval Military Training Department at Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station. He was also gifted the traditional shadow box, a display case showcasing his career, as well as a new guitar from the Pensacola-area Chiefs Mess.
"Sixty-four percent of my life has been spent in the Navy," said Carollo. "These last 33 years have been the best years of my life."
Carollo was accompanied by his wife, Tara, and two of his children, who, at the conclusion of the ceremony, joined him as he was piped through the honor side boys and symbolically walked ashore for the last time.
"The people I served with along the way and the jobs we did are what made my career special," said Carollo. "Thanks for taking me along for the ride, and what a ride it's been."
Carollo enlisted in the Navy in 1983 as a radioman, with his first duty station at Fleet Center, Verona, Italy as a radio operator attached to the 5th Allied European Task Force supporting communications within NATO and the U.S. 6th Fleet.
Over the course of his career, Carollo served at eight commands, including USS Missouri (BB 63), Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station New Orleans, USS Sacramento (AOE 1), Naval Coastal Warfare Unit 208 and Special Operations Command Central. At sea, he deployed to the western Pacific, Indian Ocean, northern Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf, while supporting Operations Desert Shield and Restore Hope. He also participated in a historic circumnavigation of the globe.
In 2013, Master Chief Carollo reported to his final duty station at IWTC Corry Station. This was his second tour back at Naval Air Station Pensacola's Corry Station, supporting the Navy's training mission.
"I'll miss the Navy," Carollo told his guests at the ceremony. "I'll miss leading Sailors and miss being a chief. I promise to wear the anchors in my heart every day for the rest of my life."
Carollo is a graduate of the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, the Joint Special Operations University's Senior Enlisted Course, and the Army Airborne Course. He is designated as an Enlisted Information Warfare Specialist and a Naval Military Training Instructor, and he is qualified as a naval parachutist.
Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
For more 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.