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CPO Pinning Ceremony Becomes Unique Family Experience
by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacquelyn D. Childs
October 19, 2016

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Fifteen San Antonio Navy Medicine First Class Petty Officers (FCPOs) and an Army Sergeant First Class reached the pinnacle of their careers during a unique promotion ceremony held September 16, 2016 at Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH), Texas.

September 16, 2016 - Newly frocked chiefs laugh as they pose for a picture with Command Master Chief Anthony Guzman, center, Navy Medicine Training Support Center's command master chief, following a pinning ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Fifteen Sailors were promoted to chief during the ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacquelyn D. Childs)
September 16, 2016 - Newly frocked chiefs laugh as they pose for a picture with Command Master Chief Anthony Guzman, center, Navy Medicine Training Support Center's command master chief, following a pinning ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Fifteen Sailors were promoted to chief during the ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacquelyn D. Childs)

The Sailors were “pinned” with their Chief Petty Officer anchors and presented their combination cover, representing years of personal initiative and professional training and development.

“Humbled. Thankful,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Frederick Scott, describing his feelings the moment he was pinned. “I was proud to represent all the people throughout the years who helped me get to this point – both the leadership and the Sailors I've worked with.”

Scott, a Hospital Corps “A” School instructor at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) at JBSA-FSH, was joined by his two sons, mother, grandparents and sister.

“I was especially happy my family was there to see the process and to see those anchors pinned on me.”

Like Scott, sharing the success with family made Sept. 16 a special and very unique day for Chief Hospital Corpsman Aaron Deguzman. The Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) medical laboratory instructor at the METC was selected to advance only months after his brother Ens. Roi Marrion Deguzman reached his own major milestone in the Navy, earning his commission. And Aaron's brother Mitchel Deguzman was pinned as a Chief Hospital Corpsman the same day.

Aaron's commanding officer, Capt. Brent Kelln, and his Senior Enlisted Leader, Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Anthony Guzman, notified him of his selection Aug. 2, 2016.

“After calling my wife, I immediately called my brother [Mitchel] to see if he also got selected. And when I found out he did, I was probably the happiest and proudest brother.”

Aaron and Mitchel joined the Navy together in 2003, went to boot camp together and even reported to their first command, USS Rentz (FFG 46), at the same time. Now they share the special memory of joining the chief petty officer ranks the same day.

“Being pinned to the rank of chief petty officer is already a great deal of accomplishment in itself,” said Mitchel. “Being pinned the same day as your brother makes it even more special. We have shared most of our naval career together, and it is such a wonderful feeling to share another milestone with my brother.”

The US Army also played a unique, family-focused role in the San Antonio CPO pinning ceremony when Sgt. 1st Class Dan Hitchcock was pinned and presented his combination cover. The Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Combat Casualty Care Force at Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute (DMRTi) is also the son of Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Clark Hitchcock, USN (ret.). Dan Hitchcock participated in Navy Medicine San Antonio's CPO 365 Phase 2 Training, a Navy-wide program of intense leadership, physical fitness, and Navy heritage training for CPO selectees.

So, to say the San Antonio ceremony was unique among Navy CPO pinning ceremonies is perhaps an understatement. Still, Chiefs Aaron Deguzman, Frederick Scott, Dan Hitchcock and their fellow, newly pinned CPOs also experienced lots of commonality in their selection and promotion process.

“It was a very humbling and eye opening experience,” said Aaron Deguzman. “It also made me appreciate more all the guidance and support that I received from my family, mentors, peers and junior Sailors. That in turn made me realize that I didn't make it to the top alone and that it's part of my duties now to give back to all those people who helped me, especially to my junior Sailors.”

By U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacquelyn D. Childs
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2016

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