Chief Legalman Belinda Hall received her golden anchors alongside her military spouse, Gunnery Sgt. Corey Hall in Pearl Harbor on Sept. 16.
“The success of my career could not have happened without my family’s continuous support and understanding, especially from my husband and my three beautiful daughters,” said Belinda Hall. “If not for my husband’s support, I would not have been able to continue my career. He has truly been my foundation, friend and mentor.”
Though participating in the Phase II process in Hawaii, Belinda Hall is stationed aboard USS Carl Vinson in San Diego and needed to gain special approval from her chain of command to participate in Pearl Harbor. She completed the majority of her Phase II training at her command, which she admits to being a challenging process. However, she credits her husband with always being there to support, even from afar.
“My Phase II process began while the USS Vinson was underway and it was tough,” said Belinda Hall. “During the underway, there were long days with little-to-no communication, other than a daily e-mail. Logging on to my computer and seeing an e-mail from my husband kept me motivated, because no matter how long or tough his day was, he took the time to write me and give me words of encouragement, that everything we were going through would be worth it in the end.”
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Hawaii, Corey Hall was feeling many of the same challenges his wife was enduring during her training. Due to the CPO 365 training program being exclusive to the Navy, Corey Hall had to submit a request through his chain of command to participate in the Phase I and II cycles. His senior enlisted leader ultimately provided him the opportunity that, in the end, would reunite him with his wife.
“I would always see how the First Classes would come back from Phase II as a Chief, with more confidence and a kind of swagger about them,” said Corey Hall. “When I got to the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 here in Hawaii, my senior enlisted leader asked if I would be interested. I told him I would and he explained the process and what I needed to do.”
Corey Hall said despite being a part of a process exclusive to the Navy, the Chief selectees from his command helped acclimate him to the Phase I and II training evolutions. The long days of team-building events, community relations projects and guidance on deck plate leadership weren’t as challenging as the time he had to spend away from his daughters and Belinda Hall.
“Going through the process together with her was tough for the first week or so,” admits Corey Hall. “We never talked. But I understood how busy she was, because I was super busy myself. With us both going through it, I would think of her during the tough times and remind myself that it wasn’t about me. You will be challenged throughout your career and your life, so who better to weather the hard times than the one you chose to spend the difficult moments of your life with.”
That perseverance will finally pay off for both Belinda and Corey Hall when they finally get to pin each other’s gold-fouled anchors to each other’s collar at the end of their latest journey. Whether they were an ocean apart or training right next to each other, the Halls knew they had each other’s support every step of the way. Belinda Hall hopes that other service members, regardless of which branch they work for, understand the importance of having a supportive spouse during their Phase II process.
“Being dual military is not easy, regardless of what branch you serve with,” said Belinda Hall. It’s important to be supportive of your spouse’s heritage and tradition and, most of all, be fascinated about everything they do. If there is any way for you to be involved in the branch your spouse serves with, do it! For those who are not dual military, help your spouse or significant other understand what you do and the importance of their support through this process.”
CPO 365 is a year-round training initiative that Chiefs Messes throughout the Navy take on to prepare first class petty officers to become chiefs. Phase II of CPO 365 begins when the chief petty officer selection board results are released, usually in the month of August.