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NEWS | Dec. 4, 2020

Profiles in Professionalism: Chief Yeoman (Select) Cierra Weidholz

By Reserve Component Command, Norfolk

Profiles in Professionalism: YNC (Select) Cierra Weidholz graphic. (U.S. Navy graphic by MCC Stephen Hickok)
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | Profiles in Professionalism: YNC (Select) Cierra Weidholz Profiles in Professionalism: YNC (Select) Cierra Weidholz graphic. (U.S. Navy graphic by MCC Stephen Hickok)

Chief Yeoman (Select) Cierra Weidholz joined the Navy at age 17. After serving four years on active duty and four years in the Reserve, in October this year, at age 26, she got the type of career news some Sailors wait almost 20 years for. She’d been selected as a chief petty officer. 

“Making rank at a young age has put me in difficult positions where I am leading Sailors who are older than me,” said Weidholz. “But at the end of the day, someone is counting on you to rise up to the occasion, whether you see it in the moment or not.”

Weidholz credits her successful rising through the ranks to the mentorship she received throughout her career. 
“I know for a fact I had leaders who saw something in me and never let me ease up,” she said. “So it’s a combination of timing, evaluations, and opportunities. But the thing with opportunity is, you need to set yourself up to be able to see it, appreciate it, and make the most of it.”  

Born in Minnesota and raised in Arizona, Weidholz’s family moved back to Minnesota just before her senior year of high school. In 2012, she saw an opportunity to serve and seized it, making what her parents at the time considered a rash decision to take the U.S. military oath of enlistment. 

Weidholz however, said she knew she needed the structure, guidance, and professional development the military could provide. 

Stationed on active duty with Beachmaster Unit Two, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., Weidholz deployed aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44), and USS Winston Churchill (DDG-81). When her active duty enlistment ended, she joined the Reserve and used her Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit to pursue her bachelors degree in exercise science from Old Dominion University.  

“I knew I wanted to go to school and get a degree,” she said. “I also knew I wanted to pursue a different route, but I didn't want to leave the military behind.”  

Her first command assignment with the Reserve was with SEAL Team 18. Both the unit’s operational tempo and frequent travel requirements paved the way for an experience Weidholz said she’ll never forget.  

“I deployed to Germany and traveled to six or seven countries in one year,” she said. “I went paragliding in the Alps, hiked up a mountain in Germany during a blizzard, and went to Italy for a week. It was an awesome experience.”   

Once again on active duty orders as Command Services Leading Petty Officer at Reserve Component Command Norfolk, Weidholz assists regional commands and NOSCs with administrative oversight of education and training on processes, policies and guidance implementation. She is currently balancing her primary duties with the unique requirements of the CPO initiation process.  

It is a challenge Weidholz says she is ready for, thanks to the leaders throughout her career. 

“That I made Chief Select is something I owe 100% to the Sailors and chiefs who’ve mentored me in the Reserve and active duty,” she said.