Sailors, Marines and civilians conducted a “Clean the Yard” day aboard the Washington Navy Yard Aug. 28. In all, more than 40 volunteers joined in the effort of beautifying the oldest continuously operating naval station in the country.
“This has been an ongoing effort as part of beautifying the Navy Yard. The chief selects came up with the idea of getting a group together to go around pick up trash,” said Capt. Monte Ulmer, Naval Support Activity Washington commanding officer. “Navy leadership is trying to promote the idea that you live here, you work here, let’s keep the base clean and keep the ‘Quarterdeck of the Navy’ looking prestigious.”
Ulmer said that there was a great amount of support for the event, with volunteers cleaning up sidewalks and flower beds around the Navy Yard.
Among the volunteers were some of Naval District Washington’s new chief petty officer (CPO) selectees taking time from their CPO 365 training to help in the cleanup effort.
“Events [like these] have really been an eye opener and a team effort,” said CPO selectee Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) (Select) Jamar Salters. “Not only have they been a way to meet the community, but they’re a way to really get involved with the other chiefs. It’s taught us to rely on our fellow chiefs and lets us know that we’ve got the support of the [Chief’s] Mess, like they have the support of us. I’ve definitely learned a lot.”
Community involvement is a cornerstone of CPO selectee season, said Chief Religious Programs Specialist (FMF/SW) Amalia Rodriguez, Regional Chaplain Headquarters Naval District Washington leading chief petty officer.
“Helping out in the community is an important lesson for any CPO selectee,” said Rodriguez. “Being involved in the local community is just as important as being involved in the Chief’s Mess. In any Sailor’s career, they can expect to travel to a number of places around the world, and it’s a matter of pride to leave an installation better than when we arrived.”
Rodriguez added that as the CPO selectees learn to support each other and other members of the Chief’s Mess to make a stronger Navy, that same involvement extends outward to make a stronger bond with the community.
“Community involvement makes us all-around better Sailors, for a successful installation, and a stronger Chief,” said Rodriguez.
Other events planned for the region’s CPO selectees include car washes, “burger burns,” and a 5k run at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va.
CPO 365, a year-long development and training process for first class petty officers, was first introduced in 2010 under former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West. It includes two phases, the first of which begins in September each year. Phase two of training begins when CPO selectees are announced and concludes with the anchor-pinning ceremony making the selectees full-fledged Navy chiefs.
For more information and photos about CPO selectee events in NDW, visit www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.