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Chief Petty Officer - ALL YEAR

CPO 365 Enters its Next Phase

With results recently released, petty officers first class both on and off the advancement list wait to see how CPO 360 will be affected. Along with them the CPO community also waits. Waits to see how the first year under the CPO 365 program will ultimately play out.

With "induction" no longer in their vocabulary, CPO 365 - a yearly, yearlong program that prepares every first class for what will be expected of them as a Chief - has become the way ahead.

But this isn't the first time a name change has promised a program change. Initiation, Transition, Induction, Chiefs in Training, and now CPO 365 - the process of becoming a chief has been named and renamed. What makes this time different is that even petty officers who aren't selected for advancement will continue to participate.

"Where it is possible - where it makes sense - all first classes should be included in the training," said Stevens. "Our goal is to make first classes the best leaders they can be."

MCPON is relying heavily on the CPO mess to keep training fresh and keep their first classes interested by making the training productive and ensuring everyone continues to develop their leadership skills.

"If the program is on autopilot, and just continues to repeat itself every year, well then yes, I can see how it would lose interest quickly," said Stevens. "But this process should never be done. A chief should be read in on the ins and outs of every opportunity the Navy provides, or at least know exactly how to obtain that information. In this regard, CPO 360 should never run short of topics."

As far as the final phase of CPO 365 goes, Stevens has outlined his expectations. There will be no alcohol during any interactions between chiefs and first classes. No one will be asked to cross dress or be forced to eat or drink anything. Profanity and behavior that demeans another person will not be accepted. No exceptions. And the final night, rumored to last right up to the pinning ceremony the following day, will now be limited to a maximum of 18 hours and starting at 6 a.m. the day before pinning.

What Stevens isn't doing is telling commands how to run their final event.

"I have given the guidance as well as the guidelines," said Stevens. "Now it is up to each command to provide the best quality training they can within those parameters. I have to leave room for each command's specific challenges. What might work for a shore command, may not work for a sea command."

However, Stevens is making one thing crystal clear. For commands that push the limits, do not stay within the guidelines, leadership will be held accountable.

Regardless of the changes, one thing remains the absolute same, Sailors are still on edge waiting for results, and are anxious to see their names on the list.

"Although the process has evolved throughout the years, the pride a Sailor feels and the opportunities that advancement brings should never be downplayed," said Stevens. "It is not just a two month program that makes a first class a chief, it is a mindset that aligns with our Navy core values, and with CPO 365, that mindset will always be in place."

What are your thoughts on the CPO 365 program? Share them with us.