GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- On August 3, the wait was over for first class petty officers throughout the Navy. One by one, many began receiving news they'd been selected to the rank of chief petty officer. Rating exams were now a thing of the past, but these Sailors were just beginning to learn the real tests lie ahead of them, not behind.
On that day, here in Guantanamo Bay, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Katherine Kahele, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Steven Moore, Information Systems Technician 1st Class Christopher Strysick, Master-at-Arms 1st Class Brian Speight, and Master-at-Arms 1st Class Daniel Wiggs were the ones to receive the good news.
"These outstanding petty officers were chosen by the Navy to join our coveted senior enlisted ranks as chief petty officers. Over the next six weeks, they will be physically and mentally tested, before ultimately being accepted as not only an E-7, but as a chief. That is when the hard work begins," said Command Master Chief Tom Mace, command master chief of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
With that happy news comes more. More training, more expectations and more responsibilities. To prepare these Sailors for the demands they will face and will be expected to meet with the same success as many chiefs who have come before them, they are required to complete CPO365 Phase II. CPO 365 Phase II is a six-week training process that is led by current chief petty officers.
The purpose of CPO 365 Phase II includes congratulating, welcoming, inspiring, improving, instilling trust and motivating the chief select, while simultaneously teaching leadership, building esprit de corps, promoting unity, building teamwork and occasionally having some fun in the process. Chief selects join group physical fitness routines, construct charge books, read about our naval heritage and participate in core values discussions, civic and community projects and various leadership and teamwork training efforts. The season ends with a formal advancement ceremony on September 15, each year.
In Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John M. Richardson's cover letter to the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy's (MCPON) CPO 365 Guidance, he recognized the ability of the program to not only build future chief petty officers, but also to make the current Chiefs Mess and all Navy leaders better.
"Three parts of the guidance particularly resonate with me: 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," said Richardson. "The centrality of the Chiefs Mess in setting the example is amazingly important. More than anybody else, our Sailors look first, and most often, to you to see how things should be done."
In his FY18 CPO 365 Guidance, MCPON pointed out that this year would be the first year in 14 years that "initiation" would be allowed as a term to define the process.
"We are initiating new chief petty officers, and providing a road map for people to be successful in life - whatever the course," said Steven S. Giordano, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.
While providing guidance for future training, Giordano highlighted the importance of remembering where the chiefs had been and how they'd come to earn the reverence that exists today.
"The traditional reverence ascribed to chief petty officers exists only as a result of the attitude and performance of those chiefs who have gone before us, and we owe it to them and successive generations to maintain the ability to continue this vital process," said Giordano. "CPO 365 gives us an avenue to impart the true weight and responsibility of a chief petty officer, knowing our true legacy is determined by those we lead today."
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