Forged By The Creed
Being selected as a chief represents the most significant change in an enlisted Sailor's career. Less than 10 percent of all who enter the enlisted ranks will be selected. The level of responsibility they assume is a reflection of their leadership potential as well as technical prowess. Chiefs not only are considered the subject-matter experts in their rates, but also assume many collateral duties, such as training junior Sailors and even junior officers.
Simply stated, the fleet is full of great chiefs, senior chiefs and master chiefs, men and women who were provided with outstanding leadership as they came up through the ranks and are paying it forward to the generations that follow.
"The difference between E7 and a 'chief' is a person that is in charge and a person who is a leader," said Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ja'lon Rhinehart, senior enlisted leader at the Defense Information School's Navy Detachment. "A person who is in charge has simply been appointed to a position and they rest upon those laurels. They accept that 'I'm here, I do my job and you work for me because you have no choice.' A leader recognizes that it is the people who make the difference, and they develop personal relationships. A leader works for his people, and their success is their people's success and their failure is a 100 percent the failure of leadership."
A chief is a chief no matter what uniform he or she wears and that will never change. The Navy has experienced one constant through the years: In the face of unrelenting change, sound and solid leadership skills, traditions and values remain the same. That's in large part thanks to chiefs.
Drawing on their past, they serve as technical experts and act as liaisons to commissioned officers. They possess the ability to establish and maintain the conditions that provide Sailors with opportunities for success.
The ability to bridge that gap and provide solutions for both officers and enlisted personnel ensures the old mantra, "ask the chief," shall remain a vital part of the Navy well into its future.