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Master Chief Charlotte Osborn, command master chief, 1st Dental Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, passes a piece of cake to Chief Petty Officer Sandra Go-Lubiano, a senior enlisted leader with 1st Dn. Bn., during the cake-cutting ceremony for the 120th anniversary of the chief petty officer rating, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Monday, April 1, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Laura Gauna/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Laura Gauna

Navy chiefs celebrate 120th birthday

5 Apr 2013 | Cpl. Laura Gauna

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., - Chief petty officers from 1st Dental Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, gathered for the 120th anniversary of the chief petty officer rating aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Monday, April 1, 2013.

The annual ceremony is held to recognize what chief petty officers have done in the past and what they continue to do for the Navy.

“The phrase ‘ask the chief,’ is used throughout the Navy because we are trusted, we welcome challenge, and we take pride in mission accomplishment,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Charlotte Osborn, command master chief, 1st Den. Bn., 1st MLG. “I am proud of the hard work and dedication of the chiefs in this command.”

During the cake-cutting ceremony, the eldest chief petty officer passes a piece of cake to the youngest, symbolizing the passing of wisdom and tradition.

Years before there were chief petty officers, superiority among petty officers on a ship was decided by the commanding officer. The official pay grade of the chief petty officer was established on April 1, 1893.

Naval traditions are the foundation upon which many of its core values are built. Navy chiefs take pride in understanding where they came from so that they can teach the next generation of sailors these customs.

"People don’t realize how important traditions are,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Vidal Quintanar, leading petty officer with the operations department, 1st Den. Bn. “It all started with the chiefs. They have made the Navy that much stronger. I like to say they’re a jack of all trades.”

In addition to being the keepers of naval traditions, they are also the enlisted leaders of the Navy.

"The chief petty officer is the backbone of the Navy,” added Quintanar. “They are the technical expert not only in their job but about sailors in general. That is why I strive to be a chief one day.”

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