Passing Anchors

It is a tradition for a Navy Chief to pass on his anchors to a new CPO initiate and it is a personal honor to receive and be pinned with another Chief's anchors.

My dearest friend, Rick Burris had been pinned with anchors from his friend, who was the Atlantic Fleet Sailor of the Year.  The following year, Rick, in turn, passed his anchors to me.  I was the only one of the class of 1991 CPO initiates in USS California to be pinned with passed anchors.

I was privileged to have been pinned with two passed anchors.  I received my collar anchors from my dear friend, Rick Burris while
on my cover I wore the anchor passed to me from my wife's Grandfather, MMC Donald Davison, who had a ship sunk from under him in WWI.

A year later, during the USS California CPO initiation, no one was slated to receive passed anchors.  During the initiation, it was discovered that someone forgot to buy enough anchors to pin all of the initiates - we were one set short.  It happened that a friend of mine was being initiated that year so I ran out to my car, pulled the tattered anchors off my working uniform and directed that they pin my friend with them.  I then pulled him from the initiation, explained the situation and the history of my anchors.  I also charged him never to forget that the anchors came off my work shirt and he was being pinned with "working anchors."  He broke down in tears.  He also never forgot and became one of the best chiefs California ever had.