MCPON Releases CPO 365 Training Guidance

Story Number: NNS130107-09Release Date: 1/7/2013 2:19:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexandra Snyder, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The role of the chief petty officer (CPO) has long been an integral part of our Navy. When Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens took office last year, he recognized that training chiefs for their new leadership role in six weeks, as the original CPO induction dictated, was hindering them in becoming as successful as possible.

"We recognized that we wouldn't always have the time that we would like to provide the training for our first class petty officers (FCPO) to become chiefs. So two years ago we implemented the CPO 365 training process that would afford them a longer period of time to train," said Stevens.

"What we've done now is said, 'Why should we have a break six weeks prior to pinning and change the way we've been training?' What we've decided to do is continue to train throughout the year, all the way up to the final night, and progressively make the training more intense and more relevant as they get ready to become chief petty officers."

CPO 365, a year-long development and training for FCPOs, was first introduced in 2010 under former MCPON Rick West. It includes two phases, the first of which begins in September each year. Under MCPON Steven's revised program, detailed in his 2012-2013 CPO 365 Guidance, all FCPOs will participate through the duration of Phase One, whether they are board-eligible or not.

"CPO 365 depends a lot on momentum," said Stevens. "It's a continuous process of learning and development. What we don't want to do is have a clean break from CPO 365 where the FCPOs who were not selected to chief, are no longer involved in the training. We want to maintain that momentum, and continue to train. We recognize that there will be some events where all FCPOs won't be able to participate in, but by and large, we'll keep them together and continue to do the training they've been doing, because it's vitally important that all of our petty officers continue to learn and develop."

Phase Two of training begins when CPO selectees are announced and concludes with the pinning ceremony. Upon announcement, each command will hold a congratulatory meet-and-greet for the selectees and their families, after which they will continue with training while maintaining good order and discipline.

Phase Two will continue to contain many time-honored traditions, such as CPO Charge Books and a capstone event focused on teamwork and resilience.

"We wanted to continue a program that set the conditions for every FCPO to be a successful and effective chief, and remove any road blocks that would interfere with that opportunity for success. We'll add in various things that would afford them a greater opportunity to be successful chief petty officers."

One process that will no longer be a part of CPO 365 is the word "induction".

"Effective immediately, we're respectfully sun-downing the word 'induction', and in its place we'll use CPO 365 as the primary term," said Stevens. "I believe that induction is more about a moment in time, and CPO 365 and the development of our FCPOs to become CPOs is not about a moment in time. It's about a continuous time. This is something we're going to do every day, 365 days a year, and so we want to make sure the term we are using is matching what we are doing."

MCPON added that the term CPO 365 was coined by CPOs in the fleet, due to their belief that developing leaders is a year-round process.

"This training is far more by the fleet, for the fleet than it is from folks in Washington," said Stevens. "A couple of years ago, when I was working with then-MCPON Rick West to help develop the CPO 365 guidance, I was overseas talking to a CPO Mess about the program. While I was addressing them, I looked in the corner and I saw their CPO guidon, and on it was written '365'. I asked them what they meant by that and what they shared with me was "we believe that developing FCPOs to become chiefs is a year-round process, so we use the term CPO 365. So, this is a title that was developed by the fleet and we just adopted it."

Additionally, Stevens said that although the CPO 365 is primarily geared towards FCPO and CPOs, all Sailors will benefit from the training.

"To develop great leaders we must have a training process that is ongoing in a Sailor's career," he said. "If everything we do starts and stops with leadership, then every Sailor will benefit from a more effective leader."

2/2/2013 7:33:00 PM
Things can get better as the Navy moves along. The way I see it is if a FCPO isn't ready for CPO by the time he is eligible for the test then he/she will never be ready. I guess pinning is kind of like going steady. Sorry I am of the old Navy, retiring 25 years ago. As CPO's we always made sure the PO received what they needed to become CPO, NOT JUST 365.

2/2/2013 1:53:00 PM
I felt very blessed when my name appeared on the Chief's list in 1969, as I had just 9 years in the Navy. Maintaining my charge book was an exciting part of becoming a Chief. Memories and photos of my Initiation are still a very fond memory. Now, the new MCPON has unilaterally decided to omit an integral and historic part of the U.S. Navy. By his actions, he has obliterated a significant segment of Naval History, that has been a vital part of the development of becoming a CPO.

1/31/2013 6:44:00 PM
I retired in 2008, but I joined the mess in 1994. I like the person who stated that preparation for Chief happens throughout our careers. The assignments I took, or was put in, prepared for wearing the anchors of a Chief Petty Officer. The best example I can give is getting a drivers license, Earning a drivers license does not prepare you for the Indy 500, it gets you on the road, We need to do a ground up review and maybe look at the selection process. I have seen a QM1 without an LPO billet.

1/31/2013 8:57:00 AM
I have to agree with the retired Chief. I have been preparing for Chief my entire career. The CPO 365 has some good ideas in it however like another person commented not all commands are using the program and some commands are taking the program overboard. I feel like I am going to be in CPO induction for years because of the way it is being ran at my current command. This is not a good thing and has destroyed the morale here.

1/30/2013 6:04:00 PM
I am a retired Master Chief. I was Initiated 20 years ago this September. It was and still is the hallmark of my Navy career. By the time I was selected to be a Chief. I had 14 years of experience in the Navy. I didn't need to sit in a classroom and be taught about the Navy as First Class or as a Chief Select. I needed the Initiation Process to toughen me up for the days ahead. The only thing you have done is killed something that has been the working for 120 years.

1/28/2013 11:14:00 PM
I don't necessarily think that CPO 365 is meant to mean, "We're gonna train you for the year to become a Chief Petty Officer." Rather, I think it's meant to mean, exactly that: Whether you're actually initiated or not, you still need to be immersed in the CPO way of thinking at all times, 24/7, 365 days a year. In that regard, it sounds like a promising program—and that's coming from a freshly minted FCPO. Can't wait to start the training!

1/23/2013 9:43:00 PM
I agree with the comments posted on 1/13/13 at 8:32 AM. I was advanced to CPO in twelve years. As I advanced from ACAA to AC1, I observed the Chiefs and learned leadership techniques from all of them both as an AC and career military person. It seems to me that the years spent until such time a person is selected to CPO are lost years and nothing is learned. Then comes CPO 365. Whatever ever happened to "Ask the Chief". Its a sad day if CPO initiation is eliminated from the Navy experience.

1/19/2013 3:56:00 PM
Master Chief, I enlisted in the Navy in 1960 to one day becoming a Chief. In September 1969 I initiated and was given a "Permanent Appointment" to BMC. I feel that your Chief 365 program alone might cause some confusion, ie if I have to train for a year after being promoted to Chief Petty Officer, I probably shouldn't have been promoted till having completed CPO 365. Have a fine day, Shipmate With respect, Joe Kenneth Eshleman BMCM US Navy (Ret)

1/18/2013 11:57:00 AM
Ambitious idea but ultimately unsustainable. Making the CPO-365 program mandatory is presumptive. Not every FCPO has desires to be a CPO. Making it mandatory means that if they do not attend the training they could be punished under UCMJ articles. So now a work environment of fear is created, good job! I understand the need for good leadership and for the most part the Navy’s core values already address how to become a good leader. It’s presumptive to assume that everyone is seeking camaraderie and a sense of community from their job. For many it’s just a paycheck and that can be ok, it should not imply the job isn’t being done. CPO-365 should be structured in such a way that it is not mandatory but if not attended you become ineligible to test and re-enlist. This way at least it removes the fear of UCMJ punishment for not attending.

1/17/2013 12:43:00 PM
I am up in the air on this. I believe that all sailors should be training for the next rank, however not all FCPO are ready to take on an anchor and be "The Chief" As I went throught the induction process I had serious doubts about the board selecting me. The rebuilding process from FCPO to CPO is the final step in realizing who you are a lesson I learned and remember to this day. The final push of building the core values of The Chief and welcome them into "The Mess" is essential.

1/14/2013 8:32:00 AM
I am a retired Chief and find this article facinating, but concerning. The term CPO 365 in interesting but wrong in my opinion. Where you call it CPO 365 or Induction or anything else, you can't train anyone in 365 day to be a Chief. I was training to be a Chief my whole Navy career. I can look back at every paygrade and see something that prepared me to become a Chief. I went through the old CPO initiation and took the good from it that helped me be the Chief I am.

1/10/2013 4:15:00 PM
CPO 365 is nothing new. Ideally, that is something our class learned in 2003 when we read the CPO Creed from the Master Chief's, Senior Chief's and Chief's that Initiated us. We did not need someone to put there spin on things and make course curriculum out of it. I don't care what they call it, it's a name. I have been a Chief 365 every year since donning, and will continue to until I transition to civilian life. Until then, I will continue on a steady course learned! Anchor Up!

1/10/2013 1:32:00 AM
Developing leaders has always been the charge no matter what your rank. I was inducted in 2004. While I do applaud the some of the changes in the process, I do have issues with the continuously shrinking time given for the training formerly known as initiation. If you want to improve things, bring back the 12 year minimum before you can make Chief. Biggest issue I see is not enough life experience.

1/8/2013 9:34:00 PM
At the end of the day we must ask ourselves two questions; 1) Am I upset about the changes because my ego has been bruised, and 2) Do the benefits ultimately outweigh that which has been "sundowned"? I think once you've thoroughly read through the new guidance with an open mind and have answered those questions honestly, the majority of those not suffering from grandiose delusions will find it's a good move in the right direction. If not, take a long hard look at your LES and promotion letter.

1/8/2013 2:36:00 PM
I am very skiptical with this change...Not all command abide with the CPO 365 and does not have the program running. With the last 6 week induction gone in the process, where would the training be coming from? If i do make it to the board and get selected this year, i was hoping to get all the training needed during this 6 week induction process... If the CPO 365 is the way, please ensure all command follow suits and enforce it...

1/7/2013 5:16:00 PM
Having read this it is not specific enough in details to speak to it. However having retired recently my recommendation is to fix this moving target called "The Mess" first before anything else. A first class's impression is what he sees from the Goat Locker and that is an extremely varied picture - no 2 commands are alike - that opinion is based on riding 38 different submarines and serving at a few shore commands up to 2011. I saw more "Chiefs" during the season than any other time.

1/7/2013 4:30:00 PM
Awesome! I was pinned in 89 while on Recruiting Duty. Returned to the fleet shortly after and had to deal with some frustrations. I figured that the FCPO's within my "Sphere of Influence" would get some special attention from me. I'm proud to say quite a number of them really appreciated the attention and excelled. Preceived barriers were eliminated and they continued to share attention with thier subordinates. I was a proud CPO when I was "Pipe'd Ashore" in 2004, I was also reluctant to go!!

1/7/2013 3:15:00 PM
Since my initiation in '95 to today, the season has evolved, mostly for the better. I would caution leadership to just listen to the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Too many times over the years have senior leadership decided they needed to put their particular rubber stamp on a proccess that simply wasn't broken in the first place. Many things needed to change in the initiation/induction process. Some thing don't. Navy Chief, Navy Pride

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Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike D. Stevens speaks with Sailors assigned to the Harbor Patrol Unit of Naval Security Forces, Bahrain.
121119-N-WB378-172 MINA SALMAN PIER, Bahrain (Nov. 19, 2012) Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike D. Stevens speaks with Sailors assigned to the Harbor Patrol Unit of Naval Security Forces, Bahrain, during a visit to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. U.S. 5th Fleet's mission is to conduct maritime security operations, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Blake Midnight/Released)
November 20, 2012
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