Hospital Corpsmen Celebrate 122 Years of Navy Chiefs


SAN ANTONIO  -- Another year older, chief petty officers past and present at Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) on Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston celebrated 122 of heritage April 1 with a ceremony and cake-cutting.

The rank of chief petty officer (CPO) was established from General Order 409 April 1, 1893 to provide deckplate leadership and officially form the bridge between the enlisted and officer ranks. The Navy added Senior and master chief petty officers to the enlisted ranks on June 1, 1958. 

During the ceremony, everyone in attendance was able to view a multimedia presentation on some of the history and heritage of the CPO rank and enjoy an official cake cutting. They also heard inspiring words from several people, including one of the newest in their rank.

"We may not all be as great as others, but one thing that is guaranteed is that we all have something to offer," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Nichole Moraldo, who earned her anchors in September. "We are the pillars of the Navy. And although some pillars may become cracked, we are careful to rebuild them and not to tear down. That is why we stand here today as leaders, as chief petty officers." 

Moraldo told the crowd how she has shaped her leadership style and believes a chief does not form a bond with Sailors by sitting behind a desk. She closed expressing thanks for those chiefs who've gone before her and continue to lead today.

"I want to give due honors to every chief past and present," she said. "You are wise and have stood the test of time throughout your naval careers. You have gone through the school of hard knocks and have passed down valuable lessons that continue to shape our mess and our Navy. For this, I say thank you."

The importance and impact of chiefs in the Navy today was echoed by Capt. Denise Smith, commanding officer, NMTSC, when she spoke to the crowd.

"You are that bridge between the officer and enlisted staff that we rely on," Smith said. "Ask the chief. That's what I've always said."

Smith went on to give credit to the chiefs in attendance as well as those around the world for their exceptional moral code and the impact they have on today's Navy.

"The anchor represents a character of loyalty and a commitment to leadership, all elements of our core values," she said. "A chief dedicates himself or herself to selfless service. The chief provides that positive image, not only in our command here today but to our Sailors and officers all across the Navy. You are the key to our success."

NMTSC is an echelon four command and reports directly to NMETC, which manages Navy Medicine's formal education and training programs. Both are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

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