PHILIPPINE SEA – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) held a frocking ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay June 7, authorizing 256 Sailors to wear the uniform and assume the responsibilities of the next highest pay grade.

Capt. Gregory Huffman, John C. Stennis’ commanding officer, personally congratulated and shook hands with each of the newly advanced Sailors as he presented them with their frocking letters.

“These folks have worked so hard to get where they are,” said Huffman. “I know a lot of people out there helped them get where they are so please congratulate all of our new folks who got promoted.”

The ceremony hosted representatives from nearly every department as frockees were celebrated by their shipmates with cheers, whistles and air horns as they crossed the stage as newly advanced petty officers.

“It means a lot to me to be a petty officer because I work hard and dedicate my life to doing this,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Christina Sweet, from Kent, Washington. “I want to advance and do well so this advancement helps me better support my family.”

For Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class James Gaughan, from Dover, New Hampshire, perseverance and hard work played a vital role in his advancement and he offered words of encouragement for those up for advancement in the upcoming cycle.

“It took me eight times to make first [E-6],” said Gaughan. “My advice is take your time, study early, study often and there is a lot of stuff you can learn on the job if you just ask questions.”

After the ceremony, the newly advanced Sailors exchanged high-fives, smiles and hearty hand-shakes with their compatriots before returning to their work centers, to take on the challenges of their newly assigned rank.

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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