NORFOLK -- A sea of blue and gold flooded the streets of Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk as runners lined up for the 9th annual “Run with the Chiefs” 5K, Aug. 24.
More than 2,900 chiefs, senior chiefs, master chiefs, chief petty officer (CPO) selectees and participants from throughout the region ran in support of the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) CPO selectees, singing cadence along the way to celebrate the selectees’ pride and camaraderie.
NAVSTA Norfolk Command Master Chief David Carter was among those leading the pack and expressing their support to the Chief’s Mess.
“This event is a great opportunity to commit ourselves to a lifestyle of physical fitness and to set the example as leaders in fitness,” he said. “It is also a great way to build camaraderie and esprit de corps among ourselves, our leaders and our Sailors.”
The event was part of the six-week induction process, a Navy tradition chief petty officer selectees go through before being officially pinned with anchors.
Carter said that induction season is also a time for existing CPO’s to renew their commitments to the Navy, each other and to reconnect to the history and heritage of the CPO rating.
“Tradition is the bedrock upon which our core values are formed,” he said. “Tradition guides us and gives us direction. Without tradition, our Navy would be adrift like a ship without a rudder.”
NAVSTA Norfolk Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) were among the many committees that sponsored and organized the event.
“We had a third more participants come out this year than last,” said Duffy Drum, the NAVSTA Norfolk MWR athletic director. “I hope to see an even bigger turnout next year.”
The event itself did not generate any profits, but the NAVSTA Norfolk CPO Induction Committee raised money for the CPO Scholarship Fund by selling limited-edition souvenir T-shirts. The CPO Scholarship Fund provides family members of CPO’s with scholarship awards.
After the run, participants and spectators gathered for the “best guidon design” contest. The judges were Capt. Mike Culler, Commanding Officer, NAVSTA Norfolk; Force Master Chief Kirk Saunders, Submarine Force Atlantic; and Command Master Chief Dominick Torchia, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
The four winners of the guidon contest were presented with plaques. Naval Air Station Oceana won best overall, NAVSTA Norfolk won most CPO heritage, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) won the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy favorite, and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth won best original design.
Carter told the CPO selectees that putting on anchors is just the beginning.
“Chief Petty Officers have to earn their anchors every day,” said Carter. “Anchor up, shipmates. Hooyah!”