By REBECCA MARCH
NAWCAD Public Affairs Department
Applause, whistles and cheers from family, friends and peers welcomed 10 Sailors to the rank of chief petty officer during the chief pinning ceremony in the station theater here Sept. 16.
The ceremony marks the day when first class petty officers are recognized for their leadership and professional abilities, and accept new responsibilities and challenges.
The Sailors' transition from E-6 to E-7 began in July when the message announcing those selected for advancement was released, NAVAIR Command Master Chief William Marriott said.
"From that time forward we go through about a six- or seven-week process where they are being tasked every single day to do things that challenge them in a variety of ways," he said.
During this time, the new chiefs were challenged to grow and build their personal character, professional attitude, management skills and professional knowledge.
Rear Adm. Bert Johnston, NAVAIR vice commander and guest speaker at the ceremony, said that the pinning ceremony marking the transition from E-6 to E-7 represents passing the baton of leadership.
"This tradition is unique to the Navy. In no other service is the jump in responsibility between E-6 and E-7 as huge," Johnston said. "We can talk about honor and commitment and other great values, but the jump, this jump, can be explained in one word. Leadership."
Pinned during the ceremony were:
> From Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate Bobby W. Campbell and Chief Aviation Warfare Systems Operator Michael H. Graessle;
> From Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20, Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate Jonathon R. Redfield and Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate John E. Delaney;
> From Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 21, Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate Randy Schneider;
> From Naval Research Laboratory Flight Support Division, Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic's Richard A. Cetina and Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate Sandra A. Greeley;
> From Fleet Composite Squadron 6 Detachment Pax River, Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate Joseph J. Bernwinkler and Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate Frank S. Paulus;
And from Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Benjamin R. Stafford.