Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Jiang

PACIFIC OCEAN – Chief Petty Officers (CPO) from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Carrier Strike Group 3 celebrated their 122nd birthday in Stennis’ Chiefs Mess April 1.
For this year’s celebration, first year chiefs organized a series of events that celebrate and commemorate their Navy heritage while underway.

“For me it was an opportunity to learn and to give back,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Marcus Allen Burdios, from California, one of the event organizers, about the process of planning the events while underway. “It was something I wanted to do and something I wanted to be a part of. It was tough, but it made me stronger.”

The morning kicked off at 5 a.m. with a recital of the CPO creed and a CPO only physical training session, followed by an all-day scavenger hunt that led participants around the ship and tested their knowledge of CPO heritage.
The festivities ended in the Chiefs Mess with a special dinner, a speech from CVW 9 Command Master Chief Fermin Timothee and a birthday cake cutting.

The winner of the scavenger hunt, Chief Electronics Technician Gregory Geske, from Pearland, Texas, received a CPO cutlass engraved with the words Unity, Service and Navigation and the phrase ‘Deckplate leadership since 1893.’

“Individually we are nothing more than well-seasoned veterans filled with confidence and pride,” said Timothee. “Together … the Chiefs Mess becomes the power commanding officers rely upon and Sailors strive to achieve.”
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