We were up bright and early on Friday, so we could “muster up” with Nicolas and the rest of his class outside their school building.
While we waited to go inside, we took a few pictures . . .
The Building in the background is the school building, where Nicolas attends classes and does all his studying.
Before long, the class leader directed everyone to go inside for the graduation ceremony.
They all look so distinguished in their dress white uniforms!
We had time for a few more pictures,
and the sailors got into their assigned seats.
They seemed like a really nice group of “kids” . . . not really kids, men and women of the US Navy – they were all very relaxed and comfortable, kidding around with each other.
Sailors in the Nuclear Power Program start out as E-3s, and successful completion of “A” school yields them a promotion, in addition to graduation. So, each of these sailors is now a Petty Officer, 3rd class. That’s quite an accomplishment in 4 – 5 months!
They were waiting patiently for the ceremony to begin,
and promptly at 9am, the Officers and Staff arrived.
A Staff Member addressed the class, acknowledging the hard work and fortitude that brought them this far, and reminded them that they would need that same work ethic and determination as they progressed to Power School.
The Honor Graduate (highest GPA in the class) was recognized first She’s a very nice young woman, and a good friend to Nicolas.
Then the Section Lead Petty Officer called each of them up to receive their certificates.
receiving his certificate from the Class Director,
congratulations from the Commanding Officer, Captain Jon Fahs,
and the “A” School Commander,
and the Chaplain.
On a side note, we were very impressed that the ceremony began and ended with a prayer . . . nice to see that as an integral part of Navy ceremonies.
. . . and he’s done!
We were lucky that there was only Nicolas’ class graduating this week, so we were able to sit in the front row (where there would normally be another class) . . . great vantage point for getting pictures!
After all the graduates received their certificates, one special award is given – the Personal Excellence Award. This award is given to the student who strived to do his or her best in all aspects of Navy life, and demonstrates leadership through his actions.
Benjamin Fong received this award – he was in bootcamp with Nicolas (different division), and I met Ben and his Mom at the O’Hare Airport, while we waited for their flight. He reminds me a lot of Nicolas, and they have become good friends.
congratulating them on their achievement, and reminding them of the responsibilities that come along with their new rank as Petty Officers.
With that, the ceremony ended, and the Sailors were on leave – free for the next 10 days to visit their friends and family!
After a few more pictures outside,
we headed into Charleston for the day (that will have to be a separate blog post!).
We’re really proud of Nicolas and his fellow Petty Officers for all they have accomplished so far, and all that they have ahead of them as they continue though this challenging program!