From USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Public Affairs Office
The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) kicked off the Thanksgiving holiday by frocking 134 Sailors to the next paygrade during a ceremony on the ship's flight deck, Nov. 23.
Iwo Jima promoted 67 Sailors to petty officer third class, 54 to petty officer second class and 13 to petty officer first class.
Frocking ceremonies allow Sailors to assume the title and wear the uniform of the next rank before the entitlement of increased pay or other monetary allowances. The appointment carries with it the obligation that each frocked Sailor exercise increased authority and willingly accept greater responsibility.
"Congratulations to each of you who advanced," said Capt. James Midkiff, Iwo Jima's commanding officer during the ceremony. "I am proud of your efforts over the past cycle, we overcame many challenges that will make us all better leaders. You've worked hard to ensure the ship met its operational commitments and I am glad to see you getting rewarded for your efforts."
Sailors were individually congratulated by Midkiff, Capt. Joseph O'Brien, Iwo Jima's executive officer, and Master Chief Petty Officer Ventura Robinson, Iwo Jima's command career counselor.
"I'm excited to take on these new responsibilities and hope this new rank can help me make a change in the Navy," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Brittany Tuzon, of Mesa, Az.
"With this new rank, I have more responsibility and more leadership," said Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Sonnier, of Sunset, La. "I'm willing to take on that roles, so I'm pretty excited for the opportunity to take on these duties and make a difference."
The Navy has used the term frocking throughout its history, but frocking was not officially referred to as part of an advancement policy until published in the Bureau of Naval Personnel Manual in 1974.
Iwo Jima is currently moored at its homeport of Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
The ship recently returned from a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew along with participating in Veterans Week New York City 2016 to honor the service of all our nation's veterans.