Intelligence Specialist Master Chief Aubrey Gillespie, senior enlisted leader at IWTC Virginia Beach, served as the speaker for the command’s celebration. Upon reporting to the command in February, she became the first woman since the command’s establishment to hold the position.
Gillespie, who joined the Navy in 2005, was promoted to chief petty officer in 2013 while serving as an instructor at IWTC Virginia Beach. A recipient of the Rear Adm. Edwin T. Layton Award for Leadership and Mentorship, Gillespie felt a particular honor in retuning to the command and calling on the entire chief’s mess to observe morning colors and honor 129 years of deckplate leadership.
“We celebrate the establishment of the chief petty officer as a turning point in the Navy when officers recognized the need for leaders that could advocate for enlisted Sailors,” said Gillespie. “It is how we honor responsibilities passed down by chiefs who came before us and show our Sailors and officers that we take our responsibilities seriously and with reverence.”
Gillespie went on to expand upon her expectations of a Navy chief serving at IWTC Virginia Beach and throughout the Navy.
“The job of a chief stationed at IWTC Virginia Beach and at all our learning sites is to ensure students receive high-quality training,” said Gillespie. “Chiefs across the Navy must stay invested in the success of Sailors. Our Sailors will one day become the newest cadre of chiefs who will continue to carry the torch of mentorship and tradition for years to come.”
Cmdr. James Brennan, commanding officer, IWTC Virginia Beach, said, “The chief’s mess serves as the backbone of the Navy. Their experience, leadership, professionalism, and commitment to naval heritage are vital to every command.”
“As a commanding officer, chiefs provide invaluable insight that allows me to put the mission first and Sailors always,” said Brennan. “Additionally, at a training command charged with preparing new accession Sailors for their first assignment in the fleet, that insight is vital to each Sailor’s long-term success and desire to stay Navy.”
IWTCVB currently offers 56 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 278 military, civilian, and contract members who train over 6,600 students every year at five training sites in the Hampton Roads area. It is one of four schoolhouses for the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and also oversees learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning information warfare community training.
Source: America’s Navy