MONROE – Local Monroe Township High School seniors – and twins – Austin Aitken and Allison Aitken of the Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Earle Division of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corp. have been pinned as chief petty officers.
Performing the pinning ceremony on Jan. 28 were Ronald Herman, U.S. Navy command master chief for NWS Earle, and Eric Heimburger, U.S. Coast Guard command master chief for the U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York.
To achieve this position, one must complete several courses and written take home assignments, attend special trainings, have time in grade, pass a series of petty officer exams and staff a training. They must also receive a letter of recommendation from the commanding officer of the unit which is only given after demonstrating the leadership skills of a chief petty officer. The recommendation is then forwarded to national headquarters for review and approval.
Chief petty officer is the highest rank a cadet may attain in the Sea Cadet Program, with less than 1 percent of all cadets achieving the rank.
The Sea Cadet Program is held at NWS Earle in Colts Neck, but it is not active duty.