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.
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.