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Culpepper


Columbus Native earns coveted title of Navy Chief Petty Officer

Navy Chief Yeoman Lloyd Culpepper from Columbus, Ohio, was recently promoted to chief petty officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.

Chief Culpepper, a 2006 Briggs High School graduate, is currently serving with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group.

“My selection as chief petty officer means everything for my career thus far in the Navy,” said Culpepper. “I have tried to the best of my ability to give my all, help my fellow sailors and to make a difference. By being selected it solidifies the fact that working long hours, missing my family taking on tough assignments and stepping outside of my comfort zone have all been worth it.”

Achieving the title of ‘Navy Chief’ is a major honor and milestone. According to Navy Personnel Command, there are only 8.5 percent of sailors currently serving at the chief petty officer rank.

To be selected for this promotion, sailors must be a petty officer 1st class, and successfully navigate through two qualifying factors: a job-based exam and a selection review board. A sailor’s record can only proceed to the review board after they score high enough on the exam. Once the exam is passed, their records are reviewed by a panel of senior navy leaders who meet for six weeks to determine if the individuals meet the standards for selection as a chief petty officer. A sailor’s performance is evaluated for at least five years, and each sailor attributes different experiences for their selection.

“I believe that my positive attitude and willingness to take on challenging positions and task helped me be selected to the rank of chief petty officer,” said Culpepper. “In addition my choice of commands has been to some of the more challenging assignments, such as Presidential support duty, the inspector generals office and USS Harry S. Truman. On top of that I became a flag writer a short time ago. I have also tried to mentor my junior sailors and peers in an effort to share knowledge and see my sailors succeed.”

During the ceremony, the honored sailors invite friends and family members to pin on the two gold anchors that adorn the newly appointed chiefs’ uniforms, while the sailor’s sponsor places the combination cover on their heads.

“Along my journey in the Navy, I know that my family and friends have been my backbone” said Culpepper. “This is evident in the fact that even though I do not see my parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins as often as I like or talk to them on a daily basis, they are always sending words of encouragement and praying for my safety and success. In addition, my family at home must deal with me being away for long periods of time and working long hours, but they are excited about my accomplishments and never cease to be in my corner.”

Bayamon Native earns coveted title of Navy Chief Petty Officer

Navy Chief Yeoman Szu-Ting Soto from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was recently promoted to chief petty officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.

Chief Soto is a 1994 Disciples of Christ Academy and 2011 Interamerican University of Peurto Rico graduate.

“My selection as chief petty officer is the most significant promotion I can ever receive,” said Soto. “This selection gives me the opportunity of being part of something bigger than me; it gives me the extraordinary opportunity of impacting change and inspiriting others to strive for continued excellence.”

Achieving the title of ‘Navy Chief’ is a major honor and milestone. According to Navy Personnel Command, there are only 8.5 percent of sailors currently serving at the chief petty officer rank.

To be selected for this promotion, sailors must be a petty officer 1st class, and successfully navigate through two qualifying factors: a job-based exam and a selection review board. A sailor’s record can only proceed to the review board after they score high enough on the exam. Once the exam is passed, their records are reviewed by a panel of senior navy leaders who meet for six weeks to determine if the individuals meet the standards for selection as a chief petty officer. A sailor’s performance is evaluated for at least five years, and each sailor attributes different experiences for their selection.

“I feel I was selected to chief because of the sailors, leaders and family who inspire me directly to tackle through challenges of great scope which keep me thinking, motivated, and committed to making a positive difference in others and my organization,” said Soto.

During the ceremony, the honored sailors invite friends and family members to pin on the two gold anchors that adorn the newly appointed chiefs’ uniforms, while the sailor’s sponsor places the combination cover on their heads.

“I am thankful to my family for supporting me unconditionally throughout 14 years of my career,” said Soto. “I thank my sailors for trusting me with their careers and professional development and finally, I am thankful to my leaders for their unconditional faith in me. It is because of them that I am here.”

Columbus, Ohio namesake, the USS Columbus conducts Change of Command Ceremony

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) – The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762) held a change of command ceremony at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 21.

Cmdr. Peter French relieved Capt. Albert Alarcon as the commanding officer of Columbus.

Retired Navy Capt. William Drake was the honored guest speaker for the ceremony, and commended Alarcon for Columbus’ numerous accomplishments and leadership during his three-year tour aboard Columbus.

“Your legacy is not this great warship, we’re standing on, but the crew of highly trained, highly successful submarine professionals seated before you,” said Drake. “This is your legacy. You gave this job your all and the results speak for themselves.”

Capt. Robert Ronscka, commander, Submarine Squadron Seven, awarded Alarcon with a Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding achievements and service.

Prior to his relief, Alarcon thanked his crew and attributed successful missions of Columbus to the hard work of the crew.

“Rather than focusing on the individual, we all know that it is the crew that brings a front-line fast-attack submarine to life, and it is the crew that allows her to accomplish the missions so vital to our freedom, our democracy and our national security,” said Alarcon. “Their story is one of resiliency, commitment to each other, ownership and dedication to the mission.”

As French assumed command, he thanked Alarcon for a smooth transition and the crew for the warm welcome as their new commanding officer.

“Thank you for the warm welcome and support to make this a seamless turnover,” said French. “You accomplished every mission tasked to you, and you did exceptionally well. It is an honor to serve with you, and I look forward to the next several years together.

Following his command at sea, Alarcon will report for duty at Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

USS Columbus is the namesake of Columbus, Ohio.

Hilliard Native earns coveted title of Navy Chief Petty Officer

(MILLINGTON, Tenn.) – Navy Chief Aircrewman Kyle Shrum from Hilliard, Ohio, was recently promoted to chief petty officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.

Chief Shrum, a 2001 Hilliard Darby High School graduate, is currently serving with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 40.

“Being a chief petty officer means a lot to me,” said Shrum. “I am very proud to have obtained this monument and I couldn’t have done it without all the sailors I have worked with but most importantly my wife Heather and kids, Gaige and Taylor.”

Achieving the title of ‘Navy Chief’ is a major honor and milestone. According to Navy Personnel Command, there are only 8.5 percent of sailors currently serving at the chief petty officer rank.

To be selected for this promotion, sailors must be a petty officer 1st class, and successfully navigate through two qualifying factors: a job-based exam and a selection review board. A sailor’s record can only proceed to the review board after they score high enough on the exam. Once the exam is passed, their records are reviewed by a panel of senior navy leaders who meet for six weeks to determine if the individuals meet the standards for selection as a chief petty officer. A sailor’s performance is evaluated for at least five years, and each sailor attributes different experiences for their selection.

“I feel that the main factors in being selected are the sailors that I have worked with, as well my family,” said Shrum.

During the ceremony, the honored sailors invite friends and family members to pin on the two gold anchors that adorn the newly appointed chiefs’ uniforms, while the sailor’s sponsor places the combination cover on their heads.

“I can’t imagine any of this adventure without my mom and dad,” said Shrum. “They never lost faith in me when I was a young man. Most off all, I have been fortunate to have my best friend in the world by my side through my whole Navy career. She is my ace and my partner. None of this is possible without her and my two amazing kids. I have missed out on so much and they have always let me pursue this career.”

Jeffersonville Sailor continues 75 years of Seabee tradition

GULFPORT, Miss.- “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees”, for the past 75 years. Jeffersonville, Georgia, native and 1990 Twiggs High School graduate, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Veal, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Veal works as a yeoman which is responsible for data management of the Seabee school house records, registration process, lodging, vehicles, legal matters, graduation certificates, and coordinating the training schedule.

“I was active in my 4-H extension communication program growing up and being a participant enhanced my leadership abilities,” said Veal. “I had the chance to travel and it led me to join the military.”

The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.

For the past 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.”

Seabees around the world are taking part in commemorating the group’s 75-year anniversary this year. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”

“Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace,” said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. “Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto ‘We Build, We Fight.’ The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the warfighter and civilian alike that they’re in good hands.”

According to Saum the Sailors who make up Seabee battalions are very driven and accomplished individuals.

“I am proud of my two Navy Achievement Medals and being a father of six,” said Veal. “Two of my kids are serving in the Navy, I am proud the Naval tradition continues.”

Serving in the Navy allows people to create a legacy for the next generation.

“Having served in the Navy for the past 22 years, I have had the opportunity to travel, learn new skills and traits inside and outside of my field, there has never been a dull moment,” added Veal.

Chillicothe Sailor continues 75 years of Seabee tradition

GULFPORT, Miss.- “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees”, for the past 75 years. Chillicothe, Missouri, native and 2012 Kickapoo High School graduate, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sydney Thorne, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Thorne works as a utilitiesman which is responsible for installation, maintenance of plumbing, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning units.

“I grew up on a farm in Chillicothe and I learned a lot about hard work, what you put in you are able to reap the benefits of it,” said Thorne. “A lot of that is true in the Navy. Chillicothe is a small town so it was a tight knit community, I can say the same about the Seabees.”

The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.

For the past 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world. They aide following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.”

Seabees around the world are taking part in commemorating the group’s 75-year anniversary this year. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”

“Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace,” said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. “Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto ‘We Build, We Fight.’ The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the warfighter and civilian alike that they’re in good hands.”

According to Saum the Sailors who make up Seabee battalions are very driven and accomplished individuals.

“I recently earned my expeditionary warfare device while on deployment in Rota, Spain which motivates me to keep working hard,” said Thorne.

Serving in the Navy allows people to create a legacy for the next generation.

“I am completely dedicated and willing to do anything and everything for my country, no matter the sacrifice,” added Thorne.

Bridgeport Sailor continues 75 years of Seabee tradition

GULFPORT, Miss.- “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees”, for the past 75 years. Bridgeport, West Virginia, native and 2002 Philp Barbour graduate, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Derrick Stewart, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Stewart works as a builder which is responsible for carpentry, rough framing on houses and block work.

“Growing up in Bridgeport, I learned a strong work ethic and about community relations,” said Stewart. “These are skills that have served me well in the Navy and in my Seabee community.”

The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.

For the past 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world. They aid following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.”

Seabees around the world are taking part in commemorating the group’s 75-year anniversary this year. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”

“Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace,” said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. “Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto ‘We Build, We Fight.’ The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the warfighter and civilian alike that they’re in good hands.”

According to Saum the Sailors who make up Seabee battalions are very driven and accomplished individuals.

“Being promoted to petty officer first class meant a lot during my Navy career,” said Stewart.

Serving in the Navy allows people to create a legacy for the next generation.

“Being part of the Navy allows me the opportunity to serve my country and I take a lot of pride in that,” added Stewart.

Culpepper
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Staff Reports