Harrisburg native earns coveted title of Navy Chief Petty Officer

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Chief Petty Officer Rickey Humphries (right) was promoted recently during a Navy ceremony. (Photo provided)

Navy Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Rickey Humphries, from Harrisburg, was recently promoted to chief petty officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.

Chief Humphries, a 2003 Harrisburg High School graduate, is currently serving with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Three.

"Being selected to chief to me is a great honor," said Humphries. "In my 14 year naval career, the title of chief has carried with it as defining the epidemic of leadership."

Achieving the title of Navy Chief is a major honor and milestone. According to Navy Personnel Command, there are only 8.5 percent of sailors currently serving at the chief petty officer rank.

To be selected for this promotion, sailors must be a petty officer 1st class, and successfully navigate through two qualifying factors: a job-based exam and a selection review board. A sailor's record can only proceed to the review board after they score high enough on the exam. Once the exam is passed, their records are reviewed by a panel of senior navy leaders who meet for six weeks to determine if the individuals meet the standards for selection as a chief petty officer. A sailor's performance is evaluated for at least five years, and each sailor attributes different experiences for their selection.

"Being a part of mentoring and training the Navy's newest sailors as in instructor in Pensacola was one of the reasons I was selected," said Humphries. "I consider it to be the highlight of my career. Additionally, being able to have the privilege to lead a work center in my job field description and train sailors in our respective rate."

During the ceremony, the honored sailors invite friends and family members to pin on the two gold anchors that adorn the newly appointed chiefs' uniforms, while the sailor's sponsor places the combination cover on their heads.

"I would like to thank my wife for being supportive and encouraging," said Humphries. "She has been there for me during my highs and lows and continued to push me even when times were discouraging."

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