By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abe McNatt, Destroyer Squadron 26 Public Affairs
USS ANZIO, at sea (NNS) -- The Chief's Mess aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) celebrated the 122nd birthday of the rank of chief petty officer (CPO), April 1, by giving back to the ship's crew while the ship is en route to Scotland to participate in Exercise Joint Warrior 15-1.
Joint Warrior is a United Kingdom-led semi-annual multinational cooperative training exercise. More than 50 ships and several supporting commands from 15 countries are scheduled to take part in the exercise.
Throughout the day, chiefs read CPO trivia questions over the ship's 1MC intercom system and rewarded correct answers with a choice of prizes.
"The success of any Chief's Mess depends on the success of its crew, so giving back to our crew was the right thing to do to celebrate our birthday," said Command Master Chief John Lawry, the ship's senior enlisted leader. "I would put the crew of Anzio up against any crew in the Navy; I think they are that great. Every day it's an honor to serve with them."
Prizes provided by the Chief's Mess included gift cards, handmade pens, and special invitations to dine in the Chief's Mess for a birthday dinner. The pens are made by Lawry's father and the master chief has been giving them away as rewards to Sailors for years.
"I think making and giving away the pens is a way my father, the Rev. Robert Lawry, can give back and be part of my career," Lawry said. "I just emailed him to tell him there were Sailors that were more excited about getting one of his pens than getting gift cards."
"I was really excited about getting one of the pens," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Rahkem Ellis, a trivia winner. "It's not every day that you can get your hands on a custom pen made from a bullet. I think we have the best chiefs on the water-they are always looking out for us and doing things to keep up our morale."
While underway transiting the Atlantic Ocean, Anzio is conducting a variety of training exercises to build proficiencies in preparation for Joint Warrior.