Chief selectees take part in CPO Pride Week

Chief petty officer (CPO) selectees parade their command guidons during a drill and cadence competition at the Battleship Missouri Memorial on Ford Island, Sept. 8.

Story and photo by William J. Blees

Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii

Approximately 100 chief petty officer (CPO) selectees from 11 different commands stationed across Hawaii honored 124 years of Navy chief heritage by participating in the third annual island-wide CPO Pride Week at the Battleship Missouri Memorial on Ford Island, Sept. 7.

CPO Pride Week includes events that pay homage to chiefs past, present and future via mentoring opportunities, CPO heritage training, and a drill and cadence competition held on the final day between chief selectees from the various commands stationed on the island of Oahu.

“Selectees are learning about the important role of taking care of their Sailors, maintaining the mission, and how their families help to keep the Navy running,” said Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Corey Johnson, event coordinator. “This event is important because it allows us to pay respect to the Navy’s past and show pride in our future.”

The week was punctuated by words from guest speaker Command Master Chief David Carter, Navy Region Hawaii, who remarked on the heritage of CPOs and the legacy that the selectees would carry on.

“Although the language has changed a bit, the expectation of a chief petty officer has not changed much in 100 years — I would even say that our duties and responsibilities have increased since then,” Carter said. “We are unique among all senior enlisted leaders and should be justifiably proud of that.”

While addressing the chief selectees, Carter frequently quoted the 1918 Blue Jackets Manual on the change from being a petty officer first class to a chief.

“The change from petty officer first class to chief petty officer probably carries with it a greater change in status than any other promotion in your whole career,” said Carter, quoting the 1918 Blue Jackets Manual. “Along with these changes comes a very great change in your responsibilities as well as the absolute necessity for a different point of view.”

During the six-week-long CPO initiation phase, the selectees are immersed in CPO legacy, naval heritage, customs and traditions that will help guide them through their new roles. Many of the selectees felt that CPO Pride Week was a way to work together and showcase everything they’ve learned during their CPO initiation phase.

“The process has taught me humility, and has shown me that I can’t accomplish everything on my own,” said Chief (Select) Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Paul Schwanke. “The process has involved a lot of teamwork. We focus on a bigger goal of being part of the Chief’s Mess as a whole.”

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano highlights three pillars in his CPO 365 guidance including the call to be humble and confident, the call to always be learning, and the call to be our own toughest critics and to be self-correcting. Throughout the chief selectees training, they have continued to focus on Giordano’s three pillars.

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Category: FeaturedNews