Walter Reed Bethesda Frocks 29 Sailors
By Bernard S. Little, WRNMMC Command Communications
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center frocked 29 Sailors during a ceremony June 8 in Memorial Auditorium.
Frockees included six new first class petty officers, five new second class petty officers and 18 new third class petty officers.
As part of Navy tradition, the frocking ceremony precedes the Sailor actual advancement to the next rank and grants the Sailor the right to wear his or hers advanced rank, as well as assume those responsibilities that come with the promotion.
During the ceremony, each Sailor received a frocking letter signed by WRNMMC Director Army Col. Michael S. Heimall stating the Sailor’s appointment to the higher rank “carries with it the obligation that the Sailor exercises increased authority and willingly accept greater responsibility. Occupying now a position of greater authority, you must strive with a renewed dedication toward providing the valued ideal of service with honor,” the letter added.
The day was extra special for newly-advanced Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Travis Hunter, as it was also his 29th birthday.
“Being frocked to me means you have dedicated yourself to the Navy, to the mission, and to your fellow juniors and superiors,” Hunter stated. “Being frocked is a testament of not just my hard work, but how I have chosen to inspire those around me. [The day] was extra special to me because it was not only a celebration of my advancement in my career, but it was also my birthday,” he added.
Hunter explained his frocking comes with “greater authority and responsibility because of the expectations and high standards that a first class petty office is expected to uphold, not just at a department or command level, but to the Navy.”
The day was also special for newly-frocked HM3 DiJonae Bates. After receiving her frocking letter, Bates was joined on stage by friends and co-workers who gave her flowers and the new petty officer could not hold back her emotions, shedding a few tears at the recognition for her hard work.
“Frocking means to me that my hard work has paid off and I am now being recognized for working at [an advanced] level,” Bates said. “Being frocked means I can pass along my knowledge and continue to help other Sailors in a more advanced way than before. The responsibilities I see with my new rank include mentoring others, expanding my knowledge and continuing to grow as a Sailor,” she stated.
Walter Reed Bethesda Chief of Staff Navy Capt. (Dr.) John Rotruck and Command Master Chief Tyrone Willis were on hand to congratulate the frockees, their families and others who supported them. Both emphasized promotion and success in the military are not achieved individually, but with the backing and support of others, beginning with the family and those at the person’s “second home,” Walter Reed Bethesda.
“Life is about progression,” Willis said. He added the frocking served as ceremony to acknowledge the potential of the Sailors to serve at the next level, as well as to acknowledge those who are already fulfilling those responsibilities and obligations of a higher rank.
Sailors looking to add rank to their collar can find information on the My Navy Portal, the one stop shop to manage their Navy careers, at http://my.navy.mil/.