Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Frost

SOUTH CHINA SEA – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) gathered in the ship’s hangar bay to celebrate the frocking of 12 new senior chief petty officers, June 6.

John C. Stennis’ newest senior chiefs are: Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate Adam Burkett, Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Scott Comer, Senior Chief Air Traffic Controller Andrew Dorich, Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate Jomar Dulay, Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Jack Fitch, Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Thomas Funderburk, Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Jason Garcia, Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Jacob Gardner, Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Luke Golden, Senior Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate Joel Hagstrom, Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Rick Hayes and Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate Robert Purviance.

“Today we have the honor of recognizing a bunch of our shipmates … who go above and beyond, everyday, to make sure that John C. Stennis and the Navy are better places for all Sailors, and we get to recognize a milestone that they are achieving in their careers as they move on to the rank of senior chief,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, John C. Stennis’ commanding officer.

Members of the Chiefs Mess pinned senior chief anchors on the selectees’ uniform collars and presented them with their senior chief combination covers. The new senior chiefs received their frocking letters from Huffman. After the ceremony, Sailors from the audience came forward to congratulate the new senior chiefs.

“Becoming a senior chief means the Navy has recognized our experience and sacrifice, and the sacrifices our families have made,” said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Jason Garcia, from Tampa, Florida. “It takes good Sailors around you to become a senior chief. I couldn’t have done it without their hard work.”

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

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