MILLINGTON, Tennessee — Navy Chief Culinary Specialist Ariel Coley is now a chief petty officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.
Chief Coley, a 2008 Bartram Trail High School graduate and Crestview resident, is currently serving with Amphibious Squadron Eleven based in Sasebo, Japan.
“The rank of chief petty officer is an accomplishment only the fraction of the Navy accomplishes,” Coley said. “It is an honor and a privilege to be accepted into the chief's mess.”
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.
Coley said that the support of her shipmates contributed to her selection.
“I got where I am today by the sailors I worked with and the leadership that guided me,” Coley said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without the sailors around me.”
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 could never express the amount of gratitude for my family and for the friends that supported me along the way,” said Coley.
“Without that support system I wouldn’t have made the accomplishments I have made.”