My Career Is Not Over, I’m A Navy Chief

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Gaddis IV, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest

Naval Base Kitsap pins Chiefs

SILVERDALE, Wash. (Sept. 16, 2016) – Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Christian Evangelista, from Passaic, New Jersey, receives his anchors and combination cover in the Naval Base Kitsap Bangor Chapel during the fiscal year 2017 Chief Petty Officer (CPO) pinning ceremony. The CPO pinning ceremony is a unique tradition to the Navy and signifies a crucial position of leadership and responsibility for the Navy. The CPO rank was created April 1, 1893. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles D. Gaddis IV/Released)


SILVERDALE, Wash. – Advancement in the Navy is one of many life-changing events that can stress Sailors out. The High-Year Tenure (HYT) Program relieves Sailors from active-duty service if their time-in exceeds a pre-determined amount of years in their pay grade.

The purpose of the HYT is to properly size and shape the Navy and ensure a dynamic force with appropriate advancement opportunity for enlisted personnel.

”It took me two tries to make E-6 or [Petty Officer] 1st Class,” said Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Christian Evangelista, from Passaic, New Jersey. “I joined in 1996 and advanced to E-6 in 2004, it was my seven and a half year mark in the Navy.”

According to MILPERSMAN 1160-120 High Year Tenure, as an E-6 a Sailor is allowed 20 years of active service.

“I was in the Navy for 19 years and 9 months preparing to retire as a First Class Petty Officer when my wife and I spoke about our options,” said Evangelista. “Plan A was if I advanced to E-7 or Chief, to reenlist and continue my career, but if not I would retire and come home to my family.”

After transferring from his command in Japan, preparing to retire – two days prior to Evangelista departing from Transient Personnel Unit (TPU) Puget Sound for terminal leave – he received news that he was selected for chief, Aug. 2.

“No words can explain how happy and shocked I was to find out I made chief,” said Evangelista. “On my last and final attempt I made chief, it was like a dream come true.”

Evangelista was promoted and pinned to the pay-grade of E-7 and rank of Chief Petty Officer, Sept. 16.

“My family was very excited when we found out I advanced,” said Evangelista. “They have always been very supportive of me and my career.”

Tears of joy ran down Evangelista’s face as his wife and father pinned his gold-fouled anchors to his uniform and his cover was placed on his head.

“12 years is a long time to work for advancement,” said Evangelista. “I believed my time would come.”

Sailors have a maximum of 20 years to advance to the rank of chief and Evangelista was a few months out from that time.

Patience and hard work kept me motivated to reach my goal. said Evangelista.

As Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Christian Evangelista passed through the “side-boys” saluting, the look of pure joy and accomplishment shined on his face.

“Never lose hope,” said Evangelista. “There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

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