BY CANDICE VILLARREAL
OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER SAN DIEGO
A NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) San Diego chief petty officer was pinned with a new set of uniform insignia upon receiving his officer’s commission recently.
Ensign Bernardo Tinoco, formerly Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Bernardo Tinoco, was selected to receive a commission through the Navy’s Limited Duty Officer (LDO) Selection Program.
“This was my final look for LDO after applying three times, so you can imagine how happy I was to find out I had been selected,” said Tinoco. “I’m excited about the challenge and the change in my professional direction.”
Tinoco had been serving as an instructor for the command’s Navy Food Management Team (NFMT), a specialized training group formed to enhance the skills of culinary specialists to provide better food service throughout the Navy’s general messes. In addition to an array of cooking and sanitation seminars held year-round for waterfront Sailors, Tinoco and the team also conduct shipboard assist visits for commands across the west coast.
“This was a hard career move for me, because all I’ve ever wanted was to be a chief,” said Tinoco. “It’s where my heart has always been. But now that I’m moving on, I want the chief’s mess to know that they aren’t losing a brother; they’re gaining an advocate in the wardroom.” Tinoco was officially selected for the program in March, after submitting his final application package in October 2016. Along with his new commission comes an additional eight-year service obligation, which he says he is looking forward to completing with pride and dedication.
“I sincerely believe the Navy saved my life,” said Tinoco. “The opportunities available for someone like me in my hometown of Dallas weren’t positive. Being able to leave my cultural bubble of comfort was extremely intimidating, but I wouldn’t be where I am today otherwise.”
Tinoco said he chose the LDO program because he wanted to move into the logistics side of operations, which he says will better prepare him for the endeavors he wants to pursue after retirement. Tinoco currently has 13 years of active service under his belt.
“I think the best part about continuing to lead, but in a new capacity, is that I am able to instill hope in the junior Sailors who don’t yet see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Tinoco. “I used to be a third class petty officer with a negative impression of the Navy, and who always wanted to give up. Now, having moved so far from that and getting my commission, I think I can show my Sailors that anything is possible. I’m ready to make that impact.”
Tinoco credits the camaraderie of his shipmates for changing his outlook and motivating him professionally.
“The day I lost my father, I received a red cross message on deployment,” said Tinoco. “Seeing the entire crew gathered on the mess decks to see me off of that ship when I needed them really opened my eyes to the sense of unity I know I wouldn’t have found anywhere else. It’s what turned me around as a Sailor, and here I am.”
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Theresa Payne, NFMT officer in charge, had the honor of placing his officer’s cover during the commissioning ceremony. Having transitioned from the Chief’s Mess to the wardroom herself, she said she expects Tinoco to rise to the challenge and lead his Sailors well. She also had some advice for the newly-pinned ensign.
“Now that you’re in the senior position, you’re going to carry the responsibilities entrusted in you as a naval officer,” said Payne. “Make sure you pass the torch. Make sure your Sailors have a firm grasp on all the opportunities available to them in the Navy. Continue to share the knowledge you gained from your subordinates with your new fellows in the workplace. You’ve been there; you’ve got a lot of technical expertise. Share that information, and you’ll be a great asset to the wardroom.”
Tinoco is slated to depart the command and report to Supply Corps Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island, Oct. 9. He will graduate upon completion of his training in about six months, and will subsequently be assigned to a new duty station.