GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(AW/NAC) Mike D. Stevens completed a three-day trip to Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville and Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba (GTMO) Feb. 15.
MCPON participated in CPO 365 events, toured base facilities, took the opportunity to discuss the focus areas of his "Zeroing in on Excellence" initiative, and answered questions about new uniforms, budget cuts, Family Readiness Group, the Performance to Serve program, and deployments during base-wide all hands calls.
CPO 365, a yearlong development and training for first class petty officers, 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 first class petty officers will participate through the duration of Phase One, whether they are board-eligible or not.
"CPO 365 is so important for the future development of our First Class Petty Officers. "I believe that if you're going to lead the future force of our Navy that you must be armed with the best opportunities to succeed," said Stevens.
CPO 365 is designed to develop leaders through a combination of mentorship, practical experience and training.
"I view this training as our most creative avenue to productively engage Chiefs with petty officers and junior officers, and to form enduring relationships characterized by mutual respect," said Stevens.
MCPON talked about the importance of effective leadership during a CPO 365 training session in GTMO.
"As you go through CPO 365, you will become a more effective leader. If everything we do starts and stops with leadership, then every Sailor will benefit from a more effective leader."
He also discussed the value of the Navy's leading petty officers.
"We must have exceptional leading petty officers, because you are one of the critical components to the engine that makes the Navy run," said Stevens.
Many Sailors showed concern about the looming fiscal environment. MCPON recognized the challenges the Navy is currently facing, but asked that Sailors focus on controlling what we own.
"It is easy to become distracted by things that are beyond our control," said Stevens. He also reminded Sailors of the things they do own and control; such as technical training, administrative production, and the execution of orders. "We also have the ability to control much of our own lives by becoming and remaining physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually sound."
Fleet engagements are intended to provide senior leadership with a frontline assessment of Sailors and what they are doing in the fleet.
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