Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CPO Heritage Days 2016

Over 750 new chief petty officer selectees from as far away as Pennsylvania converged on the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in downtown Norfolk before dawn on August 15 to begin the 16th annual CPO Heritage Days. The three-day event, hosted at Nauticus and aboard the battleship Wisconsin (BB-64), gives prospective chiefs the opportunity to learn more about their history, their heritage, and what their new roles and responsibilities in fulfilling the Navy's mission will be. 


Led by a current chief petty officer (CPO), CPO selectees are led as a unit from their muster point at Town Point Park before dawn. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington) 


One of the chief petty officers leading the event gives instructions to the assembled selectees before moving from Town Point Park to the battleship Wisconsin. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington) 

Several hundred chief petty officer selectees as well as the current chief petty officers guiding them line up in front of the national maritime center Nauticus (also home to the Hampton Roads Naval Museum), waiting to board the museum ship USS Wisconsin (BB-64). (Photograph by M.C. Farrington) 


In front of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, chief petty officer selectees for fiscal year 2017 await word to board USS Wisconsin (BB-64) to begin their training as the chief petty officer leading them looks on.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington) 



Led by chief petty officers from regional Navy commands, CPO selectees approach the museum ship USS Wisconsin (BB-64), where the instructional portion of their day is to begin. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)  


CPO selectees approach the museum ship USS Wisconsin (BB-64), where the instructional portion of their day is to begin. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)  
Hampton Roads Naval Museum Deputy Education Director Laura Orr discusses the significance of the 1942 Battle of Midway with chief petty officer selectees aboard USS Wisconsin (BB-64).  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)
Opening a classroom session for chief petty officer selectees aboard USS Wisconsin (BB-64), Hampton Roads Naval Museum Volunteer Coordinator Tom Dandes, who is also a retired senior chief boiler technician, describes the significance of winning the CPO Heritage Trophy.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)


Wearing the type of uniform a chief petty officer would have worn in a battleship's engineering spaces during World War II, Hampton Roads Naval Museum Volunteer Coordinator Tom Dandes, who is also a retired senior chief boiler technician, shares the story of the selfless dedication shown by Chief Water Tender Peter Tomich during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, for which Tomich was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.  Although the classroom instruction took place in the battleship Wisconsin's CPO Mess, the high temperatures below decks added a visceral touch.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)     

In the battleship Wisconsin's wardroom, Duane R. Bushey, the seventh Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), discusses the vast differences between the ways chief petty officer selectees were initiated two decades ago and the way the rite of passage is handled now, particularly the emphasis given towards learning the heritage and history of the chief petty officer rating.   (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)  
Retired Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Administrative) and Hampton Roads Naval Museum volunteer April Maletz shows Navy uniform items once mandated for wear by females, explaining that for decades, skirts were mandatory until the reality of sea duty forced the authorization of pants.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)  


Master Chief Operations Specialist John Lindsay, III, discusses his experiences as an operations specialist second class during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, from his post within USS Wisconsin's Combat Engagement Center, just feet from where he is standing.  He also told the CPO selectees some of the important lessons on leadership and communication he has learned in the quarter-century since.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)  

On the fantail of the museum ship USS Wisconsin (BB-64), Senior Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Don Moore instructs chief petty officer selectees on the rest of the day's schedule before they transition from the classroom portion of the day's CPO Heritage Days events aboard the battleship, moving down the aft gangway to the adjoining museum Nauticus, where the competitions between commands would begin.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington) 


Bearing the guidon used by the chief petty officer selectees of his command, a selectee departs the museum ship Wisconsin (BB-64) after attending the classroom portion of the day's CPO Heritage Days events aboard the battleship. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington) 


A chief petty officer selectee "presents the colors" of the Norfolk-based cruiser Vella Gulf (CG-72) to a Hampton Roads Naval Museum panel composed of Deputy Education Director Laura Orr, Exhibits Specialist Don Darcy, museum volunteer (and retired senior chief) April Maletz, and Volunteer Coordinator Tom Dandes.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington) 


Hampton Roads Naval Museum Volunteer Coordinator Tom Dandes asks a chief petty officer selectee a naval history question while her unit is being inspected during the competitive phase of CPO Heritage Days. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)


On Monday, August 15, 2016, Hampton Roads Naval Museum Deputy Education Director Laura Orr helps a panel of judges from the museum evaluate the unit "colors" of a group of chief petty officer selectees as an audience of current chief petty officers observes the proceedings.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)

At National Maritime Center Nauticus in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, CPO selectees from Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) join together as a unit to compete for the CPO Heritage Trophy, which is given by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)
Hampton Roads Naval Museum Volunteer Coordinator Tom Dandes prepares to present the CPO Heritage Trophy to the day's winning unit as master of ceremonies Senior Chief Don Moore looks on. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)

Hampton Roads Naval Museum Volunteer Coordinator Tom Dandes presents the CPO Heritage Trophy to the CPO selectees of Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads for the best chief selectee mess among the competitors on August 17, 2016.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)





Chief petty officers and selectees of Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads pause after being awarded the Hampton Roads Naval Museum's CPO Heritage Trophy for the best chief selectee mess on August 17, 2016. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)