Brighton Native Earns Coveted Title Of Navy Chief Petty Officer
Navy Chief Naval Aircrewman Avionics Joseph Z. Coley, from Brighton, Tennessee, was recently promoted to chief petty officer, an accomplishment that only one in five eligible sailors achieve each year.
Chief Coley, a 2004 Brighton High School graduate, has served in the Navy for 13 years and is currently serving with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Four.
“The Navy has seen traits in me they believed were worth fine tuning” said Coley. “I will not let the Navy and my sailors down. I will always give 110 percent. When I think things are hard, I will remember how I got here, which was hard work from my sailors and support from family and friends.”
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.
“My leadership and mentors provided me told to accomplish tasks on my own and not just give me the answers,” said Coley. “They allowed me to struggle to get tasks accomplished which allowed me to grow.”
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 got selected due to hard work from people around me,” added Coley. “I got the support from my family when I needed it. I could not have carried the load it took to get here without the support of my family and fellow sailors.”