IWTC Corry Station Pins New Chief Petty Officers

01 February 2021

From Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Seth T. Vickery, Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station

Twenty-three Sailors from Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station donned their chief petty officer (CPO) anchors during two separate pinning ceremonies at the National Naval Aviation Museum onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, Jan. 29.
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Twenty-three Sailors from Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station donned their chief petty officer (CPO) anchors during two separate pinning ceremonies at the National Naval Aviation Museum onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, Jan. 29.

This year’s Chief Season required some adjustments to meet the COVID-19 mitigation requirements, and the pinning ceremonies concluded Chief’s Initiation, which began when the chief selectees were announced, November 18, 2020.

The new CPOs were limited to three in-person guests to witness them officially put on the coveted gold fouled anchors of CPOs. However, the ceremony was also streamed live via Facebook for all other guests.

"We planned for a normal season with COVID mitigations, and there were a lot of obstacles due to the pandemic,” said Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Robert Whiddon, CPO season lead for IWTC Corry Station. “We were able to adjust course to meet requirements, a balancing act from the commanding officer down to the selectees. The overall goal was not to lessen the season experience, even with the differences, but selectees will look back and see this season was not lacking. Efforts to mitigate COVID-19 risk has been an all-hands effort, and could not have been done without committee teams making and enacting plans to accomplish the season."

According to newly pinned Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Gerromy Miller, many changes to the season were enacted to decrease chances of spreading the virus. Physical training was limited to individual workouts with no cadence runs or group fitness sessions. Training and mentoring with chiefs was commonly performed virtually on video conferences and by phone. This season also had a two week stand-down for the holidays, since this was the first season to be performed in December.

“Some Sailors may have been discouraged about the lack of direct contact this season, but we proved training and networking can be accomplished with modern technology,” stated Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Shaakirah Nance, a member of the CPO initiation training committee. “This pandemic shows us value in technical integration in yet another vital piece of Navy’s mission.”

Newly pinned Chief Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) Shawn Everly stated, "Everyone maintained six feet distancing with face mask requirements during any direct contact events." He also mentioned events were limited to 10 selectees and marching practice happened only when approved by the season leadership.

Center for Information Warfare Training Command (CIWT) Command Master Chief Francisco Vargas explained this season was non-traditional with the required pandemic mitigation requirements.

“We are doing the same process with challenges and events as any other season to prepare selectees for chief responsibilities with slight adjustment for social distance,” stated Vargas.

IWTC Corry Station Command Master Chief Joanne Gibson said, “Compare this season to the first without props. We thought outside the box to accomplish the same goal. Change is hard, but we must overcome the obstacles.”

IWTC Corry Station, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

For more news from Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/netc/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.
 
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