Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James Lyon

BREMERTON, Wash. – Two hundred and thirteen Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) were frocked during a ceremony held in the ship’s hangar bay, May 30.

The frocking ceremony was witnessed by more than 1500 Sailors and presided over by Stennis’ commanding officer, Capt. Michael Wettlaufer.

“I could not be more proud of each and every one of our frockees,” said Wettlaufer. “They have taken advantage of the opportunity to grow professionally and further their careers while making our Navy a better force.”

Many Sailors credited their success to the support of their fellow shipmates.

 “My entire division helped me prepare for [the advancement exam],” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Villavacua. “I know I couldn’t have done this without them.”

Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Drew Renquest said he was looking forward to the new challenges that will come with his new rank.

“Making [rank] feels great,” said Renquest. “I know I will be challenged to learn my new position and will be trusted with more responsibilities.”

Frockees are granted the right to wear the rank of the next higher pay grade but will be officially promoted in three incremenents throughout the year.

Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

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