By: Navy Office of Community Outreach—
Millington, TN – Navy Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Bryan Ellis from Muncie, Indiana, was recently promoted to chief petty officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.
Chief Ellis, a 1987 Wes-Del High School graduate, is currently serving aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“Being selected for chief petty officer means everything,” said Ellis. “The only goal I have set for myself was to become a chief. I also understand I’ve had a lot of good people in my corner and I share this with them.”
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.
“Having the support from my chain of command and subordinates is one of the biggest reasons of being selected for chief,” said Ellis.
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 have to thank my family for being my biggest support from day one,” said Ellis. “Thank you to my parents for encouraging me to enlist and having been there all along. My wife has really stepped up; she has managed the house, kids, excelled in her career and finished two master degrees. I could not have focused on my career without her.”