September 17 – In Class Interview

Sarita Lee

Object:

Challenge Coin – Keychain

 

What is:

Traditional coin of Navy Chief Petty Officers

 

Origin:

Bahrain/ 2015 – when she was initiated as a Chief Petty Officers

 

Meaning:

Among the different coins that she collects, this specific coin is the most important. It has the three core values of the Navy: honor, courage, and commitment. It means being always faithful to the navy.

 

Every chief has to carry a coin at all times. The origin of this tradition comes from the 2nd World War when a Navy pilot was shot and saved by the coin that was in his neck.

 

Fun fact:

If you are in somewhere that you don’t know anyone, you can recognize other chiefs by their coins.

 

But, be aware! If a group of chiefs goes to a bar, each one of them must tap their coins and if someone is missing her/his coin, she/he must pay a drink for all of the others.

 

Others coins:

Sarita just came back from the annual initiation, that included the Final Pinning Ceremony (promotion) and she has various coins in her backpack as well. One that is very interesting – and beautiful – is the one from Carl Brashear, the first black navy diver

 

Highlight:

The coins represent communities and its an representative/ integration artifact. The trading and collection of coins are now part of the navy tradition.

 

Traveler:

Sarita has so many different stories from personal and professional experiences. In 2015, her initiation year, she lived in the USS Ponce Deployment ship for a whole year and traveled a lot. Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jebel Ali and Djibouti were some of the destinations. She also had to face various challenges, for example, sharing a small sleeping compartment with 14 women in total.

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