NSA Bahrain Chief’s Mess Begins Training Future Leaders

Aug. 8, 2012


By Chief (Sel) Mass Communication Specialist (EXW/DV/SW/AW) Shane Tuck

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Bahrain (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, Chief of Naval Personnel, released the fiscal year 2013 active-duty Navy chief petty officer (CPO) selection board results July 31, marking the beginning of a historical passage for 40 CPO selectees assigned to Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, and tenant commands.
For many Sailors selected, it’s an achievement unparalleled by any other Navy Promotion.
“Initially I was shocked,” said Chief (Sel) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Cliff Frazier. “But soon after I saw my profile sheet and realized it was real, I was extremely humbled.”
Sailors often exemplify the reality that persistence pays off, and that never giving up can lead to achieving your goals.
“With 19 years and 10 months of naval service, I was about to retire,” said Chief (Sel) Yeoman Lashondra Blue, senior selectee for NSA Bahrain. “This is truly a blessing, and I want to thank all of my junior Sailors and mentors that have worked with me to make this joyous time in my career a reality.”
With the excitement of selection comes an expectation of increased responsibility and respect unlike any other military service.
“The Navy holds the rank of chief petty officer in very high regards,” said Master Chief Mark Tomlinson, command master chief of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and this year’s NSA Bahrain Chief Petty Officer Induction Committee chairman. “When you shift your uniform from the old blue to khaki, you’re expected to be the ‘be all and know all.’ There are no anchors with training wheels or rookie anchors; you are the Chief!”
While the season is a time of training for the selectees, it’s also a time for the chief’s mess to polish their leadership skills.
“Induction is a time to fine tune a Sailor’s leadership, communication and coping skills while instilling a refreshed sense of heritage, loyalty and commitment,” said Tomlinson. “It’s a time for ‘genuine chiefs,’ past and present, to learn about the personnel soon to stand beside them and vice versa. We cannot build a chief in six weeks; we merely increase their awareness of the qualities that they already possess.”
This year’s NSA Bahrain induction has a unique aspect to it – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Payton.
“I volunteered to take part in the chief petty officer induction process because I happen to be stationed on a Navy base, and I can’t pass up an opportunity like this,” said Payton. “I’m always looking forward to a challenge, and I’m willing to learn new things that will make me a better leader.”
Payton acknowledges the leadership skills she stands to gain by exposing herself to the diversity of a different armed service.
“As a Soldier, this will be the experience of a lifetime,” said Payton. “I'm interested in learning how the leadership styles differ in between our services’ senior enlisted ranks, and the many Navy customs and acronyms.”
NSA Bahrain’s chief petty officer induction is a six-week process that began Aug. 1 and will end with the time-honored tradition of a pinning ceremony, Sept. 13.