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NEWS | Sept. 20, 2016

San Antonio CPO Pinning Ceremony Highlights Family Support in Success

By Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Fifteen San Antonio Navy Medicine petty officers first class and a Army sergeant first class reached the pinnacle of their careers during a unique promotion ceremony held Sept. 16 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston (JBSA-FSH), Texas.

The Sailors were pinned with their chief petty officer anchors and presented their combination covers, representing years of personal initiative and professional training and development.

"Humbled. Thankful," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Frederick Scott, describing his feelings the moment he was pinned. "I was proud to represent all the people throughout the years who helped me get to this point -- both the leadership and the Sailors I've worked with."

Scott, a Hospital Corps "A" School instructor at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) at JBSA-FSH, was joined by his two sons, mother, grandparents and sister.

"I was especially happy my family was there to see the process and to see those anchors pinned on me," he said.

Like Scott, sharing the success with family made Sept. 16 a special and very unique day for Chief Hospital Corpsman Aaron Deguzman. The Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) medical laboratory instructor at the METC was selected to advance only months after his brother Ensign Roi Marrion Deguzman reached his own major milestone in the Navy, earning his commission. And Aaron's brother Mitchel Deguzman was pinned as a chief hospital corpsman the same day.

Aaron's commanding officer, Capt. Brent Kelln, and his Senior Enlisted Leader, Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Anthony Guzman, notified him of his selection Aug. 2.

"After calling my wife, I immediately called my brother [Mitchel] to see if he also got selected, and when I found out he did, I was probably the happiest and proudest brother," he said.

Aaron and Mitchel joined the Navy together in 2003, went to boot camp together and even reported to their first command, guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46), at the same time. Now they share the special memory of joining the chief petty officer ranks the same day.

"Being pinned to the rank of chief petty officer is already a great deal of accomplishment in itself," said Mitchel. "Being pinned the same day as your brother makes it even more special. We have shared most of our naval career together, and it is such a wonderful feeling to share another milestone with my brother."

The U.S. Army also played a unique, family-focused role in the San Antonio CPO pinning ceremony when Sgt. 1st Class Dan Hitchcock was pinned and presented his combination cover. The non-commissioned officer-in-charge (NCOIC) of the Combat Casualty Care Force at Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute (DMRTi) is also the son of retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Clark Hitchcock. Dan participated in Navy Medicine San Antonio's CPO 365 Phase II Training, a Navywide program of intense leadership, physical fitness, and Navy heritage training for CPO selectees.

To say the San Antonio ceremony was unique among Navy CPO pinning ceremonies is perhaps an understatement. Still, Chiefs Aaron Deguzman, Frederick Scott, Dan Hitchcock and their fellow, newly-pinned CPOs also experienced lots of commonality in their selection and promotion process.

"It was a very humbling and eye opening experience," said Aaron Deguzman. "It also made me appreciate more all the guidance and support that I received from my family, mentors, peers and junior Sailors. That, in turn, made me realize that I didn't make it to the top alone and that it's part of my duties now to give back to all those people who helped me, especially to my junior Sailors."

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For more news from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/.