A sea of blue and gold flooded the streets of Naval Station Norfolk (NSN) as runners lined up for the ninth 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 CPO selectees, singing cadence along the way to celebrate the selectees’ pride and camaraderie.
NSN Command Master Chief David Carter was among those leading the pack and expressing 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,” said Carter. “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 CPOs to renew their commitments 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,” said Carter. “Tradition guides us and gives us direction. Without tradition, our Navy would be adrift like a ship without a rudder.”
Naval Station Norfolk Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) were among the many committees that sponsored and organized the race.
Duffy Drum, Naval Station Norfolk MWR athletic director, said he was very pleased with the turnout.
“We had a third more participants come out this year than last and I hope to see an even bigger turnout next year,” said Drum.
The race itself did not generate any profits, but the Naval Station 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 CPOs with scholarship awards.
After the run, participants and spectators gathered for the “best guidon design” contest. The judges were Naval Station Norfolk Commanding Officer Capt. David Culler, Submarine Force Atlantic Force Master Chief Kirk Saunders and Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Command Master Chief Dominick Torchia.
The four winners of the guidon contest were presented with plaques. Naval Air Station Oceana won best overall, Naval Station 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!”
The Navywide pinning ceremony will be Sept. 14.