Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Sierra D. Langdon
BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) held a frocking ceremony on the 20th anniversary of the ship’s commissioning, authorizing 200 Sailors to wear the uniform and assume the responsibilities of the next highest pay grade Dec. 9.
Over its 20 years of service, thousands of Stennis Sailors have advanced into leadership positions where they have embodied the motto of the ship’s namesake, Sen. John C. Stennis, making sure to ‘look ahead.’
After frocking all 200 Sailors, Wettlaufer addressed the assembled crew, emphasizing the importance of dedication, and congratulated the frockees on their hard work and dedication while preparing for the exam.
“We have Sailors out here who took the exam eight times,” said Wettlaufer. “That’s amazing perseverance to push through what seems like such a daunting task.”
For many of the Sailors advancing this cycle, Wettlaufer’s speech justified the sacrifices they made while preparing for the exam.
“I took leave to study,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Christine Ellington. “I stayed on base and set up in front of my computer with all my study materials until I knew I had it.”
When the last Sailor was frocked and the ceremony ended, the newly advanced petty officers returned to their divisions, ready to assume their responsibilities as Stennis’ newest leaders.