Story Number: NNS140829-15Release Date: 8/29/2014 10:17:00 AM
By Leah Eclavea, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs
ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Navy Guam chief selects partnered with a village mayor to clear land that will be used as a community garden and improve the living conditions of surrounding residents in Asan Aug. 29.
"The chief selectees from Big Navy, thanks to them they are helping me with this place, which is always flooded during the rainy season and it overflows to the residents because of the poor drainage, and also we are going to use it as a community garden," said Mayor of Asan-Maina Joanna Margaret Blas. "I am so grateful, and thank you is not enough."
One of the residents Elizabeth Untalan was watching the chief selects clear the land beside her mother's home. Untalan was happy knowing that her mother doesn't have to worry about flooding in the future.
"This morning my mother was crying with happiness," said Untalan.
The chief selects spent the day cutting down large trees and removing debris from the area.
"It's important to give back because the people of Guam have taken us in," said Chief (select) Logistics Specialist Kenneth Hughes, Military Sealift Command Ship Support Unit Guam. "They welcomed us and this is just a way to return the favor and say 'thank you.'"
The process to becoming a chief in the Navy is a long and challenging road. Enlisted Sailors go through the ranks from E-1 to E-5. Their years of service and leadership potential are carefully evaluated by the Navy Chief Selection Board.
"When you step into the ranks of the chief petty officer, your job is to take care of your Sailors, develop your Sailors, train your Sailors to make sure that we have a strong fleet," said Hughes. "The chiefs mess is basically where all knowledge, all the traditions and heritage of the Navy is kept and we are the keepers of tradition."
Hughes believes in helping out in the community and demonstrating strong leadership by being an example of service.
"If we come out here and represent the Navy and we work in the community, it is showing our junior Sailors it is okay to come out and do things that help the people around you, even though they are not in the military," said Hughes. "This is just us giving back and saying, 'hey we can do it.' As the chief selects out here this is us saying we are not above anything, just because we're chiefs doesn't mean you can't get down and can't get dirty."
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.