There are so many naval traditions, which amaze ordinary people with its simplicity and unbelievable significance at the same period of time.
One of the most captivating traditions is the burial of a White Hat at sea. This tradition makes an E-7 Chief Petty Officer, who is in transition from an E-6 First Class Petty Officer, burn his/her white hat at sea. In order to demonstrate how a person is grateful to wear the uniform that serves for a certain period of time, and how he/she appreciate the chance to say the words of honor to this uniform.
It is not just one more White Hat in this life; it is something more important, like an amulet that has accompanied a person during the years of service as a seaman or a Petty Officer of different classes. This is why a eulogy for the E-6 White Hat is the smallest thing that has to be made. My personal eulogy for E-6 First Class Petty Officer White Hat demonstrates how significant the years of my service with that White Hat were to me. Making an E-7 Chief Petty Officer is one of the biggest milestones in my life and my career, a significant step into better future, a goal that is almost achieved. It is not that easy to say “Good Bye” for my White Hat in a short period of time.
There are so many things have been uniting us: first meeting with new friends, attempts to follow the time in order to perform the necessary duties, first exams, and first disappointments. One day, a person realizes how cruel and unfair this world is, and it is necessary to have some kind of support to rely on any time. People are not honest all the time; this is why it is better to choose another object to be sure about possible help. My uniform served as such kind of support each time. When I wore it, I felt a bit more courageous, a bit more confident, and even a bit happier. This uniform always reminds me why I am here and why I should be strong and ready for any challenge. If people still believe that they certainly have their own guardian angels, I can say that my White Hat was my guarding angel all the time. When I saw the White Hat for the first time in my life, I had already known that it is a symbol of a Navy that I had to wear with honor.
I could not lose it, I had to care about it, and I had no right to change my hat with someone else. Wearing and caring about my White Hat was my first duty, and I had to be as responsible as possible. I agree it was a bit hard, but I also comprehend that my life in a Navy without the White Hat could be much more difficult. This is why I was happy each time I wore this White Hat. However, the time when I have to say “Good bye” to my White Hat has come.
I cannot postpone or omit it. The only thing I have to do right now is to look at it once again, remember all those challenges, we have passed together, and demonstrate my proud and enough powers to change my E-6 White Hat for something more important, more serious, and more prospective, and be ready to become an E-7 Chief Petty Officer.