Chief Navy Counselor Antonina Cedeno, from Lodi, New Jersey, was recently promoted to chief petty officer.
Chief Cedeno, a 2001 Lodi High School graduate, has served in the Navy for 15 years and is currently serving at Navy Recruiting District New York.
“The promotion signifies 15 years of hard work, failures, learning experiences and triumph,” said Cedeno.
More than 280 sailors at various commands around the world were promoted during the 2016 Chief Pinning Ceremony. This ceremony is a long time Navy tradition dating back to 1893 when the chief petty officer pay grade was first created.
“For 123 years, since the grade of Chief Petty Officer was created, only the most talented and capable Sailors have been selected to wear the coveted anchors and to have the honor of being called chief,” said Cmdr. Jason Sticht, commanding officer of Navy Recruiting District New York, during the ceremony. “And now here you are, moments away from becoming a part of this very respected and exclusive fraternity.”
To be selected for this promotion, Sailors must be a petty officer 1st class, and go through two qualifying factors; a job based exam, and a review board. A petty officer 1st class can only go through the review board after they score high enough on the exam. Each job has different requirements for their chief petty officers.
Before the new chief can wear their new rank and anchors on their uniform collars, they must complete a six week long training filled with testing, mentoring, and challenges to make them the best chiefs they can be.
“The most challenging aspect of CPO 365 Phase II was learning to work as a cohesive team without a leader and having to constantly communicate thoroughly while being on the same key at all times,” said Cedeno.
During the ceremony, the honored sailors invite friends and family members to pin on the two gold anchors to the newly appointed chief’s uniform, while the sailor’s sponsor places the combination cover on their heads.
“Thank you to my family,” said Cedeno. “All of my success is as much mine as it is yours because, without your support and guidance, the woman I have become would never have been possible. You are the reason I am here today.”
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