Chief Petty Officer Wayne Lane, from Port Allegany, and a 2000 graduate of Port Allegany High School, was pinned to chief petty officer on Sept. 13.

When asked how he felt about this accomplishment, Lane said, “I have been down a long windy, and challenging road in my career and I never thought I would hit this milestone. Less than 1% of service members in the Navy will achieve this honor in their career, I am truly blessed and thankful for all the people that helped me accomplish this goal. More than anyone, I owe a great deal of gratitude to my kids. They have sacrificed so much due to my absence while serving our country. Though it has been an honor to serve, it has not been easy for my kids but they are my driving force and I wouldn’t be here without them. Daddy loves you Hailey, Solomon and Audrey!”

Lane is a damage controlman onboard navy destroyer USS KIDD (DDG-100). He has completed seven deployments while serving on three different ships throughout his 19-plus year career. Lane is responsible for training the crew of more than 300 sailors in firefighting and maintaining all lifesaving equipment onboard the ship.

You may ask yourself, what do chiefs do? Chiefs are crucial to the fighting of the ship; vital to executing the normal battle rhythm of training, maintenance and standards; maintaining good order and discipline; and effectively bridging the gap between officers and enlisted. It is not easy, it is not for the faint of heart. But it is because of the need of this type of leader that in 1893 that the rank of Chief Petty Officer was born.

Unlike petty officer first class and other junior enlisted ranks, advancement to chief petty officer not only carries requirements of time in service, superior evaluation marks and specialty examinations, but also carries an added requirement of peer review board. A first class petty officer can only advance to chief petty officer after review by a selection board made up of senior and master chief petty officers.

Advancement to chief petty officer is the most significant promotion within the enlisted Navy rank. At the rank of chief petty officer, the sailor takes on more administrative duties. In the U.S. Navy, their uniform changes to reflect this change of duty, becoming identical to that of an officer’s uniform except with different insignia. Personnel in the three chief petty officer rates also have noticeable privileges such as separate dining and living areas.