Each year a specially selected group of newly commissioned Chief Petty Officers (CPOs) participate in Heritage Week at Charlestown Navy Yard. During this weeklong training cycle the USS Consittution’s crew teach the CPOs time-honored maritime traditions such as 19th century boarding pike drills, War of 1812-era gun drills using a 24-pound naval long gun, and line and sail handling. Much of this training takes place on board the USS Constitution. Because she is in drydock this year, the group of CPOs is smaller and even more selective than in previous years—just 60 CPOs. But the drydock setting has an up-sde; this years CPOs will be able to take an up close look at ship construction.
Heritage Week training is designed to instill pride in naval heritage in the Navy’s senior enlisted leaders, and a time-honored part of this tradition is a visit to Old North Church and the tomb of Captain Samuel Nicholson. This week’s CPO group marched marched down Hull Street to the church this morning, where they learned about the history of the church from Vicar and Executive Director Steve Ayres before touring through the crypt to pay their respects at the tomb of Samuel Nicholson, first Captain of the USS Constitution and first Commandant of the Charlestown Navy Yard. A second group of CPOs will visit next Wednesay, and we are delighted and honored to welcome them!