New chiefs prepare for leadership role

USS Missouri Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Legacy Academy Class 019 members affix bunting to the rails of the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial during a service project, Aug. 29. Photos by MC2 Jessica O. Blackwell

MC2 Somers Steelman
Navy Public Affairs Support
Element Detachment Hawaii

Hawaii-area chief selectees recently kept busy learning and developing their leadership skills through a series of activities, including attending USS Missouri Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Legacy Academy, and clearing the Halealoha Haleamau burial site.

Chief selectees also engaged “Laying the Keel” training during the week of Aug. 13, at Sharkey and Hickam Memorial theaters aboard Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“Laying the Keel” — Devolving the Backbone of Our Navy, was developed and instituted by retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Steven S. Giordano, in April 2018, as part of the evolution from CPO 365 to SAILOR 360.

USS Missouri Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Legacy Academy Class 019 members work together in a team-building exercise during a Battle Stations evolution aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Aug. 28.

“Our Navy cannot build the framework for leadership without starting with ‘Laying the Keel,'” Giordano said. “As our future enlisted leaders proceed from stern to bow over the course of their career, they are building the backbone of the Navy that is both enduring and deeply connected to the heritage of those who have gone before them.”

USS Missouri CPO Legacy Academy Class 019 member Chief (Select) Personnel Specialist Cesar Megia, from Union City, Calif., tends to the simulated wounds of fellow Chief (Select) Boatswain’s Mate Alishia Miller, from Elk River, Minn.

The training is facilitated by trained and certified senior enlisted leaders, and delivered off-site in a location close to the waterfront or flight lines. Designed to be the foundation for a series of training, “Laying the Keel” emphasizes character, ethics and more.

USS Missouri Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Legacy Academy Class 019 members perform their department’s ditty during their graduation ceremony aboard the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial, Aug. 31.

“Simply put, ‘Laying the Keel’ gets down to the roots of what the Chiefs Creed says and how we as a mess live that, day in day out,” said Command Master Chief Adrian D. Watkins, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific. “It is the foundation of what it means to be a chief petty officer. Deeds, not words, are the best way to show leadership.”

USS Missouri Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Legacy Academy Class 019 member Chief (Select) Cryptologic Technician Interpretive Genesis Reyes awaits the start of her class graduation.

The training was incorporated into this year’s CPO initiation, a professional educational and training environment that starts when chief results come out and concludes with the CPO pinning ceremony.

“Laying the Keel” was designed to challenge individuals as leaders of integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness.

A USS Missouri CPO Legacy Academy Class 019 graduating member receives a keepsake.

“This training makes clear the basic principles of leadership,” Watkins said. “It is something all leaders can reflect on, ensuring we are upholding these anchors, and the weight of what they represent every day.”

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Category: Life & Leisure