Capt. David James

Capt. David James

You may have noticed some of our Sailors walking around with the widest of grins. Chances are that those are some of the Sailors that I had the distinct privilege to frock recently to their new pay grade. Justice cannot be served if I attempted to describe the significance of this development in their lives. This is the culmination of so many aspects of their lives coming together and propelling them to new heights. Frockings are not handed out. They are earned; and, these Sailors have been on an upward track in their careers and I am confident that they will remain on such track. While frockees are allowed to wear the rank of the next pay grade, they will be officially promoted gradually throughout the fiscal year.

Frocking ceremonies are filled with jubilation and anticipation. These ceremonies contained a little something in the air that just makes one want to reflect as to why we serve. We all have our varying reasons for joining this line of work, and while the work can be incredibly gratifying, it’s not the work that electrifies the eyes of our frockees. It’s the opportunity to become part of something much larger than simply a job. Collectively, that drive to excel in everything that we do has made our Navy the global power that affects the world over from helping project our maritime strategic objectives to helping those in times of need through humanitarian assistance missions.

We all have the great privilege, and even greater responsibility, of serving at a critical time in our nation’s history. Our Navy is continually confronting demanding challenges and stacked odds. Our ability to overcome those trials will affect, not only America's freedom, but also the freedom of millions of other men and women all over the world. This is what we, as a marine fighting force, are called to do. We are called to serve.

As a fighting force, we are diverse. Each of the frockees comes from a different background and has chosen to serve in one of several diverse career specialties. Though they are unique, they represent the best of the U.S. Navy. They too are committed to the values and ideals on which the Navy was founded. It is this steadfast allegiance and devotion to duty, exemplified in the recently frocked men and women, that make our Navy what it is today. Regardless their background, they all wear the uniform of a U.S. Navy Sailor.

For the newly frocked Petty Officers, many of you are still in the formative stages of your careers. Yet, the world is changing at a faster pace than ever before, technology is attempting to outpace us, and the expectations placed upon you will not be trivial. As the Navy transforms and evolves, it depends on all of us to get the job done safely and successfully, regardless the challenge or setback. Our frockees have proven by their selection for advancement, they have the moral strength, personal determination and character to do what is right and excel in all they attempt to accomplish. They have done well, and we have high expectations for them.

In addition to exam scores, Sailors are advanced to the rank of Petty Officer First, Second and Third class based on other factors, including points for college education, awards and performance evaluation marks. These factors are scored and added together to determine a tester's final multiple score, that is compared against a minimum final multiple score determined by the number of available slots in their rate (i.e. job specialty) at their pay grade. If the multiple score is high enough, that Sailor advances.

These Sailors attend Petty Officer indoctrination classes to learn the responsibilities specific to the next level of Navy leadership. Frockees assume new and challenging roles, from rate-specific management positions to work center supervisors and Leading Petty Officers responsible for entire divisions.

Their journey is just beginning and I urge all Sailors to continue to evaluate their performance and their own journey. Ask yourself how you will continue to develop and hone your leadership skills in the coming years. Constantly seek opportunities for self-improvement, while at the same time inspiring these qualities in those under your charge to meet future challenges.

The answers to these questions are key to preserving the U.S. Navy's legacy and ensuring warfighter readiness into the future. The Navy is counting on all of us, so prepare yourself and your shipmates.

A final point: There is one group within the frockees I would like to address, and those are the ones who have finally made rank after repeated attempts. The world of ideals doesn’t appear to have been at your doorstep, at least in terms of promotions. Disappointment abounds each and every single time you were passed over. Yet, you never gave up. This speaks volumes as to the caliber of Sailor who you are. May your promotion be that much more sweeter. You serve as a unique inspiration to all.

Thanks for all you do, and congratulations!

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All my best,

Captain David James

Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Lemoore

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