The Navy added two new senior NCOs to its ranks from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division, White Sands Detachment.

Shawn Cavasos and Dylan Munn joined more than 4,500 fellow Sailors across the fleet advancing to the rank of Chief Petty Officer (E-7) during a promotion ceremony at the post chapel on Jan. 29, 2021.

Along with extra pay and the honor of wearing the distinctive khaki uniform adorned with golden anchors pinned on the collar, Firecontrolman Chief Dylan Munn and Chief Petty

A mask can’t hide the smile of Dylan Munn as fellow Sailor pin on his golden anchors signifying his promotion to chief petty officer on Jan. 29, 2021, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
A mask can’t hide the smile of Dylan Munn as fellow Sailor pin on his golden anchors signifying his promotion to chief petty officer on Jan. 29, 2021, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (Photo Credit: Chuck Roberts/White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
Proud parents pin golden anchors onto the collar of Shawn Cavasos during his promotion ceremony to chief petty officer held Jan. 29, 2021, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Proud parents pin golden anchors onto the collar of Shawn Cavasos during his promotion ceremony to chief petty officer held Jan. 29, 2021, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (Photo Credit: Chuck Roberts/White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

Firecontrolman Aegis Chief Shawn Cavasos assumed a new role that also comes with added responsibility, said Commander Colin Monk, Officer in Charge of the 28 Sailors assigned to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division, White Sands Detachment.

“As the chief, you are the center of the Navy, the center of its culture, the center of its combat effectiveness,” said Monk during the formal ceremony. “We take our hardest problems to the Goat Locker because the chiefs always get it done. The chiefs are the backbone of the Navy,” said Monk, referring to the Goat Locker as the traditional Navy term for the senior enlisted mess aboard a ship.

In a ceremony that included the new chief selects singing ‘Anchors Aweigh,’ a reading of the Fouled Anchor and the Two-Bell ceremony, Monk said he knew both Cavasos and Munn belong among fellow Navy chiefs who are central to making the U.S. Navy the most lethal fighting force in the world.

“You now bear a portion of that responsibility, one of the vital vertebrae in the backbone of the Navy, one of the chiefs who will always get it done. Your Sailors, you officers and your Nation are relying on you,” said Monk. “I have witnessed you perseverance, professionalism and leadership firsthand, and I don’t doubt for a second that either of you are up to the task.”

Afterward, new Petty Chief Officer Munn said he is motivated and ready for the challenge ahead.

“It’s an honor to be selected and promoted,” said Munn. “Being a Chief is not something to take lightly and is not an easy task by any means. So much more is expected from you and demanded of you. It is a task I am willingly accepting to take care of all Sailors.”

History of the rank of Chief Petty Officer:

The chief petty officer, as recognized today, was officially established 1 April 1893, when the rank “petty officer first class” was shifted to “chief petty officer.” This originally encompassed nine ratings (occupational specialties): chief master-at-arms, chief boatswain’s mate, chief quartermaster, chief gunner’s mate, chief machinist, chief carpenter’s mate, chief yeoman, apothecary, and band master. Chief petty officer could be either an acting (temporary) appointment, designated as AA, or a permanent appointment, designated as PA. The Career Compensation Act of 1949 created an E-7 grade that standardized pay for all chief petty officers, regardless of acting or permanent status. Acting status for chief petty officers was not eliminated until 1965. A 1958 amendment to the Career Compensation Act added two new pay grades, senior chief (E-8) and master chief (E-9), and created six new rating titles.

Today, there are three chief petty officer ranks: chief petty officer, senior chief petty officer, and master chief petty officer. Chiefs are recognized for exemplary technical expertise within their rating, superior administrative skills, and strong leadership ability. Most importantly, chiefs bridge the gap between officers and enlisted personnel, acting as supervisors as well as advocates for their Sailors.

Navy mission at WSMR:

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division, White Sands Detachment

The Navy has been part of the test community at White Sands Missile Range since 1946 when it arrived to participate in research and testing of captured German V-2 rockets.

During the 1940s and 1950s, the Navy continued to launch rockets for atmospheric research, and in the 1950s its responsibilities expanded from rocketry into the testing of surface-to-air missile defense systems. Its ongoing mission includes land-based testing of naval weapon systems missiles such as the electromagnetic railgun at its iconic USS Desert Ship that sits in a sea of sand. The USS Desert Ship is also designated LLS-1, for 'Land Locked Ship' number one.

Built in the 1950s to functionally duplicate the fire control requirements of a surface ship, the Desert Ship was originally used to test the Talos missile, and is now is primarily used for live fire testing of the Navy´s STANDARD Missile. The Desert Ship remains as one of two "Land-Locked Ships" operated by the U.S. Navy, the other being the USS Rancocas in New Jersey.