MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII -- U.S. Navy Sailors from multiple units were promoted to chief petty officer during a Chief Petty Officers Pinning Ceremony, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Sept. 14, 2018.
They were pinned after enduring six weeks of physical and mental challenges through a Chief Petty Officer Initiation.
“This process has been around for over a century,” said Chief Petty Officer Lorch Toloumu, a hospital corpsman with 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment. “The terminology of initiation evolved from induction and reverted back to initiation.”
Chief Petty Officer Christopher Guthrie, one of the students from the course, said he was happy when he found out he was selected for chief petty officer.
“It took me by surprise,” Guthrie said. “Words can’t explain how you feel when you get told you’re selected. It’s an incredibly exciting feeling.”
Guthrie said during the six weeks, everyone was tested physically, mentally and emotionally.
“We were really tested and put through the wringer,” he said. “It was very difficult but if you lead with your heart, you get through it better than you started.”
Chief Petty Officer Deandre Jones, another student from the course, added by saying there were a lot of obstacles they had to overcome.
“Some of the barriers we went through was during our time of service, but there were also some that we learned recently,” Jones said. “We learned to get over ourselves and know what it means to be a chief petty officer.”
Jones said the past six weeks were difficult because it felt like some of the things they learned during their time of service was inaccurate.
“You start to deny yourself on the things you’ve learned over the years,” he said. “We had to get over a lot of roadblocks, but every instructor motivated us and gave us the guidance we needed to make ourselves better.”
Jones said there are no words to describe how he feels about being pinned to chief petty officer.
“It’s more of a sensation,” he said. “It feels like electricity is running from my toes to my head. It’s the best feeling I’ve experienced in my life.”
Toloumu said there’s no words that can explain what it means to be a chief petty officer.
“As you go through being a chief, whether working in garrison, the field, at sea or in the air, every day is a great day knowing that you make the difference in the lives of your Sailors. You’re assisting in completing our mission to support our nation’s call.”