Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 24 June 2011 00:00
Sesebo, Japan is a long way from Roslyn. But it was there, at a U.S. Navy base, that Roslyn native Aaron L. Mitchem III was recently commissioned as a Chief Master-At-Arms in Surface Warfare.
The event took place last April 15 and is the culmination of a career that began when Mitchem graduated from Manhasset High School in 1998.
During his career in the Navy, Chief Mitchem has received numerous awards, including the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achieve- ment Medal with three gold stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
For the commissioning ceremony, USN officials listed the achievements of Mitchem’s career.
“In April of 2000, he reported for his first assignment on board USS Leyte Gulf,” the brochure stated. “During his tour aboard ship he attained qualifications at every Sonar position and was the only enlisted Anti-Submarine Warfare Evaluator. His collateral duties included serving as an on scene leader for the At-Sea Fire Party, as well as conducting over 330 boardings of foreign vessels in the Northern Arabian Gulf as a member of a Psychological Operations boarding team. Chief Mitchem earned his Enlisted Service Warfare Specialist Qualification and attained the rank of Petty Officer First Class while aboard USS Leyte Gulf.
“In August 2004, Chief Mitchem reported to Master-at-Arms “A” School after successful completion, he transferred to Naval Air and Engineering Station (NAES) in Lakehurst, NJ,” the brochure continued. “While on station, he served as Watch Commander and the Police Department Leading Petty Officer. Chief Mitchem was twice awarded the Sailor of the Quarter and was the 2005 Sailor of the Year at NAES. Chief Mitchem was hand selected for an individual augmentation (IA) billet to Kunar Province, Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he served as the Police Technical Advisory Team lead and the Force Protection Non-comissioned Officer in Charge for Camp Wright (PRT Asadabad). Mitchem advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer while serving on his IA.
“In March 2009, he reported to Commander Fleet Activities Sesebo (CFAS),” the citation continued. “At CFAS, he served as the Harbor Patrol Unit Lending Chief Petty Officer, the Security Operations Officer and the Command Fitness Leader.”
At the ceremony, Mitchem was accompanied by his wife, Heather, and their three children. Several Naval officers, including Lt. Franklin Brown and Capt. F.S. Martin spoke at the ceremony, as did Mitchem.
The brochure for the ceremony featured, on the back cover, a quote from President John F. Kennedy.
“I can think of no more rewarding career,” once remarked the 35th president, himself a decorated World War II veteran. “And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think I can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfication: ‘I served in the United States Navy,’”— a sentiment that Chief Mitchem would undoubtedly agree with.