Chief petty officers at Naval Hospital Beaufort celebrated their 120th anniversary today by honoring naval traditions and fostering a spirit of service.
Chief petty officers serve as mentors and leaders of sailors. They are a liaison between the enlisted and officer communities, according to a news release.
Today, the chiefs mess, including several retired chiefs who work at the hospital, began the day by leading morning colors. The hospital's first class petty officers -- who work closely with the chiefs mess as part of a leadership program -- joined the morning colors.
The chiefs also held a cake-cutting ceremony that highlighted their history. They cooked and served lunch for sailors -- including delivering nearly 200 lunches to sailors working at the hospital's branch health clinics at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station.
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Chief Hospital Corpsman Amanda Hughes, who serves as command historian for the Naval Hospital, said in a news release that the role chief petty officers have in the Navy is unique and vital.
"I once heard that leadership is stewardship," she said in the release. "Being a chief is just that, being a steward of junior sailors who are entrusted to our care and guidance. We have to do it right because we only have them for a short period of time and we are accountable for their successes and possible failures. I tell all the sailors that I've had the pleasure to serve with that they don't work me; my job as a chief is to work for them, to give them everything they need to succeed."
To cap off the celebration, the chiefs mess will battle the medical service corps officers in a softball tournament at the hospital.