NORFOLK, Va. — After a long day of work on the ship, there is nothing that Navy Chief Petty Officer Roy Lopez enjoys more than shedding his Chief uniform, throwing on a matching Chief t-shirt and mesh shorts, then hopping into his Chief sticker-covered Ford F-150 truck to go and do Chief things, sources confirmed this morning.
"What can I say? I'm proud to be a Chief," says Lopez, whose arms are covered with Chief anchor tattoos.
In 2004, Lopez put on the rank of Chief, or E-7 in the Navy, and has never been seen in public since then without wearing something that doesn't declare his rank or his membership in the "Goat Locker."
"We got married in 2005, and he had an anchor sewn onto the back of his tuxedo jacket," his wife Caroline told reporters, before turning to lift up the back of her shirt to display a large tattoo in Gothic script that reads "CPO wife."
"He made me get this on our honeymoon," she added.
Lopez, who asks only to be addressed as "Chief" in conversation, may need to reconsider his wardrobe and entire personal identity, however. He has recently come under investigation for hazing charges, and depending upon the outcome of the case, could face demotion to the pay-grade of E-6.
Asked about the prospect of losing his rank, Lopez does not seem to understand the concept of being anything other than a Chief.
"I'm a Chief," he says.