Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael D. Stevens discusses the CPO 365 training program with chief petty officers and first class petty officers from Naval Air Station Jacksonville after a physical training session. CPO 365 is a year-long program designed to prepare the minds and bodies the Navy's next-generation of senior enlisted leadership. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley.
Pride shirts are back
MCPON has brought back the use of "pride shirts" for physical training sessions. According to the guidance, CPO pride shirts are authorized for wear during all PT sessions. "As Chief Petty Officers, we should always present a proud and professional appearance that reflects positively on our CPO Mess. Ensure that all "Pride" shirts specific to each command are uniform (i.e. color and design). The Navy PTU shorts are the only authorized shorts for wear with the "CPO Pride" shirt during CPO 365 PT. Shirts must provide a well-fitting, professional military bearing," the message stated.
Stevens said this change was the direct result of feedback from chiefs in the fleet.
"The initial goal of only using Navy issued PT gear was to create unity, but sometimes you just don't get it right," said Stevens. "I received a lot of feedback from the fleet that CPO pride shirts reflect positively on our CPO mess. After listening to the feedback, I think it's a good idea to bring them back."
Chief petty officers are always striving for excellence; always looking for a way to do things better. I've received great feedback from the fleet, and I've embraced what they've had to say through these changes. - MCPON StevensSister services can once again participate
Stevens has also authorized other services and foreign nation E7 and above participation in CPO 365, with the stipulation that they must participate for the entire Phase I and Phase II training period.
"I loved CPO 365. I loved what it put me through personally, and I loved what I saw it do to my brothers and sisters," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Mary Ferguson. "The whole process was so foreign to me, because it is so unlike anything we go through in the Army, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. I love the Army, and I've made some amazing lifelong friendships in the Army, been through some incredible things with some folks, but nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to that moment when somebody hears those words, 'Welcome to the Mess!' ... it's monumental, it's motivating on a whole other level."
Clarification on Phase II for non-selected first class petty officers
Phase II begins when the NAVADMIN announcing the CPO selection board results is released. Phase II is designated as the final training period to prepare CPO selectees for entry into the Chiefs Mess. This phase ends Sept. 15, followed by a pinning ceremony Sept. 16.
As determined to be appropriate by the CPO Mess, all first class petty officers will continue to participate in CPO 365 training throughout Phase II - when and where practical. Stevens agreed that there will be several instances where CPO selectees and non-selects will conduct separate sessions, but sessions should continue for both throughout Phase II.
"Last year I didn't do a good enough job of clarifying in the guidance what it meant to have first class petty officers involved in Phase II," said Stevens. "I created some confusion in that area, so a tweak was made to clarify the intent."
No difference between Senior Enlisted Leader and CMC
Command master chiefs are singularly accountable for the safe, successful execution of training. The term "CMC" throughout the guidance is synonymous with anyone serving as the command's or unit's senior enlisted leader. The guidance states, "They will be keenly involved from beginning to end."
"Chief petty officers are always striving for excellence; always looking for a way to do things better. I've received great feedback from the fleet, and I've embraced what they've had to say through these changes," said Stevens.
MCPON's 2013-2014 CPO 365 Guidance can be found HERE