Back to Basics: GW Chiefs Mess Attends CPO Fleet Training

Story Number: NNS181128-09Release Date: 11/28/2018 10:41:00 AM
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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mary Popejoy,

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. It is forever changing, challenging those in leadership roles to work toward a common goal to support mission accomplishment. It is no easy feat, reminding us that the basics are the foundation of who we are and what leads to our success.

The U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) fleet chief petty officer training team facilitated training to the Chiefs Mess of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) at C-9 on Naval Station Norfolk, Nov. 16.

“Most leadership trainings focus on the individual, whereas we focus on the group dynamic,” said Command Master Chief Ron Glass, fleet chief petty officer training team lead. “We bring the mess together and talk about ethics, shaping the tone, enforcing the culture of excellence, and building better warfighters.”

The mess was divided into four groups; each one designated a scribe and a presenter to share their responses. Some of the topics discussed were communication, loyalty, integrity, respect, and understanding.

From strengths to room for improvement, Master Chief Electronics Technician (Nuclear) David Barber, fleet chief petty officer training team member, believes their approach to training helps each group realize they already have it within themselves to make changes within their organization.

“This facilitated training is designed to help the group understand that they already have the recipe; they just need to mix the ingredients,” said Barber.

The seminar also focused on the responsibilities of a chief petty officer, key Navy programs, team building, and leader development – the basics of leadership.

“The basics, because they are basic, tend to be overlooked, so simple things like training and taking care of people tend to get muddled into what you do every day,” said Senior Chief Avionics Electronics Technician Dave Tullio, aircraft intermediate maintenance department’s leading chief petty officer. “Taking an opportunity to pause and go backward and look at that stuff is important because it reminds us of what we should be doing every day.”

Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (aircraft handling) Daquann Woodall, restricted division leading chief petty officer, echoed how the basics are the foundation of successful leadership.

“It refreshes why we’re here, our standard and our purpose,” said Woodall.  “It takes us back to the basics, so we can take care of our Sailors and ourselves more than we did before this training.”

For George Washington’s Command Master Chief Maurice Coffey, the training was a perfect way to bring leadership full circle.

“Start at the basics, re-sharpen our tools, and remind them what our mission is and continue to press forward,” said Coffey. “Re-spark that fire inside our Chiefs Mess, and make sure we’re pushing forward in the right way to not only improve our Sailors, but our ship and mess as well.”

Ultimately, Barber hopes their training was effective, eye opening, and empowering, because leaders need to be all in.

“Leading Sailors is a tough job, and I hope they take away that their job is tough, but it’s important, and they understand the importance,” said Barber. “We’re in it for the long game. It’s not necessarily about winning the battle today; it’s about winning the war tomorrow.”

The fleet chief petty officer training team also offers training to first class petty officers and the wardroom. To schedule training, please email requested primary and secondary dates to


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Chief Training
181116-N-JF107-001 NORFOLK, Va. (Nov. 16, 2018) Chief Hull Technician Zachary Whisenant briefs a group of chief petty officers (CPOs) during the U.S. Fleet Forces Command fleet CPO training, Nov. 16, 2018. Chiefs from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) attended the training to bring the mess back to the basics of leadership. George Washington is undergoing a refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipyard. RCOH is a four-year project performed once during an aircraft carrier™s life-cycle that includes refueling of the ship's two nuclear reactors, repairs, upgrades and modernization. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Reggie Buggs.)
November 28, 2018
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