Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington –
A Quality Quartet of Chief Selectees
By Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer -- For Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Tristan Brayman, lingering at work on his day off with wife and young son was a hopeful undertaking based on equal parts anticipation, expectancy and possibility.
Brayman was one of approximately 25 eligible Sailors assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton waited anxiously September 6, 2022, for the announcement that they were selected to become a chief petty officer.
Brayman, along with Hospital Corpsmen 1st Class Cyrus Cunningham, Ferrell Jenkins and Sonnypaul Soriano, were notified by command leadership that they were chosen to be part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Navy Chief Petty Officer ranks.
Each is about to embark upon a name-change like no other.
Yet for Brayman, after receiving the news from Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick, Naval Hospital Bremerton director and NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer and Command Master Chief James B. May, he immediately phoned his father, a retired master chief information systems technician.
“Did you make it?” was the greeting from Brayman’s dad.
After hearing that leadership was there with his son, the elder Brayman had his answer.
“Captain [Fitzpatrick], this is indeed great news. I’ll be glad to meet you at the pinning ceremony,” Brayman’s dad said, as his son teared up.
“He never does that,” shared Brayman wife.
When the Preventive Medicine department finally located Jenkins off doing a myriad of normal duties and responsibilities so he could be officially notified of being selected, he let out a shout of joy.
“Yay! Thank you so much,” exclaimed Jenkins. “This isn’t just about me. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me get here.”
Soriano, Directorate of Clinical Support Service leading petty officer, x-ray technologist, and NMRTC Bremerton Senor Sailor of the Year, was rendered speechless upon being informed.
“I thank everyone,” a visibly moved Soriano said.
Cunningham, with specialty training as a pharmacy technician, was told by leadership first thing in the morning.
“I really didn’t think my chances were that good,” said Cunningham. “My dad is prior Navy and he’s very proud. Family is excited. All my co-workers are happy for me, too.”
In no other branch of the service is there such a notable transformation from one enlisted rank paygrade to another than when a U.S. Navy Sailor becomes a chief.
“We are very proud and happy for those being promoted,” shared Fitzpatrick.
The manner of promotion to the rank of chief in the Navy is a unique process compared to the other branches in the armed forces. In the Army, Air Force and the Marine Corps, an E-6 becomes E-7.
In the Navy, each eligible Sailor for chief is required to be selected by a ranking and selection board composed of master chiefs who actively chooses the future leadership from the most capable Sailors, considering both their aptitude as technical experts and ability as leaders.
To signify the new leadership position of the chief petty officer rank, the time honored tradition of the chief’s pinning was created at the pay-grade’s inception in 1893.
Getting to that pinning is also a process.
As Brayman, Cunningham, Jenkins and Soriano are about to find out…