This weekend I was privileged enough to attend one of my shipmates and fellow Chief’s retirement. The retirement ceremony in the Navy is fraught with tradition. Bells, music, side boys along with other traditions that date back to our beginnings with the Royal Navy as a guide. From the shadow box that acts as a symbol of the sailor’s many career accomplishments and recognitions to the Flag ceremony in which “Olde Glory” is passed from pay grade to pay grade depicting all the different pay grades that sailor has earned. We recognize the many hardships that we have put on our families over countless days, months and years of deployments and other worldwide operations. As we pipe that sailor over the side one last time, never to return to the uniformed ranks, we have to take a moment to remember those sailors, soldiers, airman and marines who have given their lives over the past 200 years protecting what we all should cherish everyday.
Fair Winds and Following Sea’s Mike, it has been a pleasure to be your shipmate, your brother and your friend. The Navy is a better place because of the contributions of your career. God Bless you and your family, the Navy and the United States of America.