Archive for United States Navy

Top Gun – Still Flying High after 30 Years

Posted in Current Affairs, Leadership, Naval Leadership with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2016 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

 

I was 17-years-old and a junior in high school in the first half of 1986. The United States was at the height of the Cold War.  President Ronald Reagan’s strategic plan to improve the capabilities of naval forces, known as the 600-ship Navy, was gaining momentum.  And, the nation came together to mourn the loss of Space Shuttle Challenger, mission STS-51-L, as its crew of 7 astronauts perished, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.  Being proud to be an American in the strongest, most spirited nation in the world was common back then.

During that same time, while most of my classmates were taking SAT’s and planning their future, I was taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB); the test used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces.  Influenced by my uncle, Thomas Aulenbach, a 1963 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, my ambition was to join the United States Navy.

It was a deep sense of pride, and a desire to be part of something greater than myself, that drove me to make the best and most important decision of my life; to join the world’s greatest navy, and to reach out to live my dreams.  I entered into a Naval Reserve program known as The Naval Reserve Sea Air Mariner Program (SAM).  This program allowed me to be one of very few to ever join the Navy in my junior year of high school, go to basic training in the summer after my junior year, then drill one weekend a month at a local Naval Reserve center during my senior year of high school.

There were a few other things that further stoked my pride and ambitions to join the Navy back in those days.  I remember sitting in my recruiter’s office hearing Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA,’ which was rapidly becoming the country’s unofficial national anthem.  It seemed like it was playing on repeat, ringing in my ears over and over again.  Or, maybe it was just a clever recruiting tactic; one that was working.  I still get an overwhelming emotional feeling each time I hear it; no different from hearing any other patriotic tune.  To this day, that song remains near the top of my list of all-time favorites.

One month before I left for boot camp, on May 16, 1986, the iconic movie, Top Gun, opened in theaters.  Starring Tom Cruise, playing the role of Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, Top Gun would become one of the most endearing military movies of all time.  From its opening scene (may I opine: The best opening scene to a movie ever!), to it victorious ending, this movie is jam-packed with great action and music.

Top Gun is about the former United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, at what was then called Naval Air Station Miramar, located north of San Diego, California; Fightertown U.S.A.  The film glamorizes the life of naval aviators by portraying them as cocky, highly competitive hotshots driven to be the best of the best among all Navy fighter pilots.

* Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar is now known as Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS Miramar). The United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) was merged into the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at NAS Fallon, Nevada, and is now known as the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program (SFTI program). The program is intended to teach fighter and strike tactics and techniques to selected Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers who return to their operating units as surrogate instructors.

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Related Content:  Top Gun 30 Years Ago via The Sextant (U.S. Navy History)

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Have Some Fun:

Which ‘Top Gun’ Character Are You?

Quiz #1          Quiz #2          Quiz #3          Quiz #4

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Call Sign Generator

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Top Gun puts viewers into the cockpit of an F-14 Tomcat for the thrill and adrenaline rush of flying one of the Navy’s most maneuverable fighter jets.  The film has had a cult following in its 30 years since it’s release, and continues to motivate anyone who has been in or around the Navy, particularly those who aspire to become fighter pilots.  Last year, it was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, joining only 675 other films for that designation.

The movie’s music, with songs on the original soundtrack like Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins), Take My Breath Away (Berlin), Mighty Wings (Cheap Trick), and other songs featured in famous scenes, such as Great Balls of Fire and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin, remain as timeless as the movie itself.  When they’re played on the radio, there’s no question that they came from Top Gun.

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Related Content:  Top Gun at 30: A Retrospective from Two Naval Aviators via War on the Rocks

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The Pentagon Goes Hollywood

It was the Navy’s cooperation that put the planes in the picture. The producers paid the military $1.8 million for the use of Miramar Naval Air Station, as well as four aircraft carriers, about two dozen F-14 Tomcats, and a few F-5 Tigers and A-4 Skyhawks; some flown by real-life top-gun pilots.  The dogfight scenes were carefully choreographed by experienced military pilots, and a some of the movies most memorable scenes were meticulously researched for their realism and authenticity.  The movie’s Navy and Hollywood connection made real history.

Then, there are those scenes that would just never happen.  For example, Maverick’s tower fly-by (aka buzzing the tower).  This became the symbolic statement by Maverick of his commitment to being a, well, maverick.  But, doing this is not recommended.  You’ll lose your wings, get a boot permanently stuck up your posterior, and you’ll certainly find yourself flying a desk until your court-martial.  So, the answer will ALWAYS be, “negative ghost rider, the pattern is full.”

Soon after the movie came out, there was a boost in Navy recruitment.  Although Pentagon regulations prohibited the Navy from promoting the movie in its recruitment efforts, Navy recruiters could be found setting up recruiting tables in many of the theaters where the movie was being shown.  In 1987, the Navy cleverly released a Top Gun-themed recruitment commercial with “Danger Zone”-sounding music to continue the successful recruiting trend.

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In addition to its excellent music and its action-packed scenes, the movie’s dialogue is immortal.  Comical, hard-hitting and full of power and meaning, Top Gun is full of unforgettable lines, like these:

Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.” ~ Captain Tom “Stinger” Jordan

“Top Gun rules of engagement are written for your safety and for that of your team.  They are not flexible, nor am I” ~ CDR Mike “Viper” Metcalf (Commander, U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School – Top Gun)

“A good pilot is compelled to evaluate what’s happened, so he can apply what he’s learned” ~ Viper

These, and many other lines, certainly capture the strict discipline and protocol that you would expect from the military.  And, then there are lines that you might use at work just to annoy your co-workers, such as the infamous, “I feel the need … the need for speed.”  Or, there are lines like the ones listed below that are suited for everyday use and have particular meaning (click on image to be taken to larger image via its web link ):

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*Courtesy: The Further Adventures of Doctrine Man (Facebook), aka Doctrine Man (Twitter)*

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Out of the movie also comes leadership wisdom.  Top Gun is referenced often when discussing leadership and team dynamics; a sort of leadership ethos.  This was extensively explored by Bob Jennings and J. Israel Thompson in a series of posts that were written as fictional “interviews” with key characters from the movie.  Links to each of those posts are listed below:

Often in the movie, however, there are those times when a butt-chewing was necessaryThe fine art of delivering corrective action is sometimes garnished with some colorful language.  As the movie evolves, you notice Viper’s style becomes the textbook example of how to deliver negative feedback.  There is, obviously, a right way and a wrong way.

‘Top Gun’ still soars at 30, while shooting for that sequel, which will again star Tom Cruise.  And, although the F-14 Tomcat is no longer part of the Navy’s arsenal, and pilots are becoming more like gamers sitting in sophisticated theater-like consoles flying drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), no one has lost that loving feeling for Top Gun.  It’s popularity continues to fly high after 30 years.  For some of us, it will never get old.  In fact, Top Gun Day is celebrated every year on May 13th.  Why do they celebrate it on that day, when the movie was released on May 16?  Good question.  Here is your answer.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the movie, I highly recommend it.  If you have, I would be surprised if you don’t feel the same way I do every time it comes on television, or when Kenny Loggins comes on the radio with “Danger Zone.”  It’s a movie where the pilots and the viewer are both on the edge of their seat experiencing the exhilaration of life as a naval aviator.  One thing is certain, the movie puts into perspective our need to call the ball; to know, and be absolutely certain, that we are on the correct approach path to catching the wire in life, career, business, etc.  If we are gliding off the path, we need to know how to correct our approach.  This is the lesson … the moral of the story … that Top Gun provides.

 

 

The Navy Hymn: “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

On this Sunday following yesterday’s celebration of the 237th birthday of the United States Navy, I thought it appropriate to share with you the story of The Navy Hymn; Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”

Click HERE to listen to the hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked’st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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The Rev. William Whiting, a schoolmaster and clergyman of the Church of England, who lived from 1825 to 1878, wrote the original words as a hymn in 1860.  In the following year, the words were adapted to music by another English clergyman, the Rev. John B. Dykes, who lived from 1823 to 1876.

In the United States, the late Rear Adm. Charles Jackson Train, an 1865 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, was a lieutenant commander stationed at the Academy in charge of the Midshipman Choir.  In 1879, Lt. Cdr. Train inaugurated the present practice of concluding Sunday’s Divine Services at the Academy with the singing of the first verse of this hymn.  Today, this song can be found in most church hymnals.

This hymn is often used at funerals for personnel who served in, or were associated with, the Navy. For example, Eternal Father was the favorite hymn of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was sung at his funeral at Hyde Park, New York in April 1945.  Roosevelt had served as Secretary of the Navy.  This hymn was also played as President John F. Kennedy’s body was carried up the steps of the capitol to lie in state.

The song, known to United States Navy men and women as the “Navy Hymn,” is a musical benediction.  It is a prayer for safety on the high seas. And, nobody senses the need of God more than those in peril; those in peril on the sea, on the land and in the air.  Those in the United States Navy need God’s strong arm, guarding hand and watchful care.

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File:USNavyChurchPennant.svg

Img5.jpgO Eternal Father, strong to save, we pause to remember the founding of the Navy.  We remember all who have served in the air, on land, on sea and under the sea.

Those whose lives were given in dark jungles, ocean depths, desert sands or on far distant bases and beaches.  May we recognize their contributions to the security of our nation.

Grant, O God, your blessing and protection on all men and women who now serve in our Navy, on watch and on station around the world, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, from the Western Pacific to the Middle East, especially those defending freedom in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.  O Lord, may our soldiers and sailors be a safeguard unto the United States of America.

Put new meaning in our national commitment of “Peace through Strength,” that we may truly strive to be instruments of peace in a distrustful world.

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our country’s Navy ashore and afloat, and all who serve in our Armed Forces.  Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them; keep them safe from evil; give them courage to face the perils which beset them and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be.

God, who founded the seas and equipped them with the very resources that sustain life on this planet, we seek your will for our nation in meeting its obligations to maintain the freedom of the seas.  We ask your blessings on the ships and their crews of the United States Naval forces in meeting their commitments.  Preserve them from the dangers of sea, air & land and bring them safely to port.

On this occasion of the birth of the United States Navy, save, sanctify and bless those in the Navy with favoring winds over the sea and into harbor.  According to your good will, and as their divine and heavenly pilot, bring them at last to the haven of peace.

Related Article –

The 237th Birthday of the United States Navy (commandperformanceleadership.wordpress.com)

The Birthday of the United States Navy ~ October 13, 1775

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Listen to THIS while reading this post!!!

Without a decisive Naval force we can
do nothing definitive – and with it,
everything honorable and glorious.

George Washington to Marquis de Lafayette, 15 Nov 1781

Today, October 13th, we celebrate a birthday.  We pause to celebrate the great heritage and birthday of the United States Navy; a formidable force in war, a potent power in peace, a respected adversary in conflict, an effective deterrent to war, and a welcomed means of compassionate assistance to those whose misfortunes make the Navy the means of their survival and hope.

On October 13th, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy.  For two-hundred and thirty-seven years, men and women have accepted the rigors of our nation’s naval service.  For as long as our men and women have gone to sea in ships, they have felt the awesome urging and mystery which takes them from those they love, and to whom they long to return.  They have known that life lived only for one’s self is too constrictive, they have taken up arms for lives more precious than their own.  The sailor’s dedication to successfully sail the unobstructed seas is celebrated today on the birthday of the United States Navy.

Today, we celebrate the maturation of thousands of young Americans who, because of their service in the U.S. Navy, have sharpened their understanding of responsibility and honor.  We celebrate the countless hours of selfless sacrifice and devoted service evidenced by those of our Navy.  We celebrate the patience of those who accept without protest the hardships of shipboard life: living with seasickness, undergoing lengthy separations and enduring cramped living environments.

Sailors at sea America’s fighting men and women of the United States Navy, standing on guard over the free world, are held together by a common bond; their love of life and liberty for ourselves and for our loved ones.  When hostility and conflict threaten the stability of peace, when turmoil and chaos erupt around the world, the Navy is forward deployed and positioned as a floating fortress of men and machines blanketing the globe, striving to make the world a better place.

Today, their valor is commemorated and we properly honor their outstanding service.  The men and women of the United States Navy devote themselves to the fullest accomplishment of their every responsibility.  Their nation looks to them with pride and as a model of excellence in execution of every task.  We celebrate this glorious day with deep gratitude.

Today, we share the mystical experience of the sea so hard to describe to someone who has never known it.  We share the disciplined training in preparing for events we hope will never happen.  We share their sadness at leaving those they love and their joy in returning to them again.  We share their conviction that no other job would be quite so satisfying as serving at sea with men and women we respect and admire.  We share their sense of adventure in looking forward to new ports and, as yet, unsailed seas.

Throughout history, the seafaring men and women of the U.S. Navy, heroes one and all, have always stood at the ready.  By sea and by air, the U.S. Navy has always answered duty’s call.  From the sailors on deck to the skilled pilots of fighter jets, the men and women of our Navy work with one goal in mind: to defend freedom wherever it may be challenged.

They’re out to sea for sometimes six months or more leaving behind friends, loved ones and the comfort of home.  They brave the mighty oceans around the far-flung corners of the globe never knowing where duty may call; the duty to protect America’s liberty.  They courageously do what every sailor in the United States Navy has done before; at the ready for duty, ever vigilant, and prepared to defend America.

As Americans, knowing that these valiant heroes are protecting us with unyielding courage and honor, should give us great comfort.  The Department of the Navy, as a portrait of honor and service, speaks to the patriot in us all.

File:United States Navy Ethos 2008.pdf

File:United States Navy Ethos 2008.pdf

The Sailor's Creed

I am a United States Sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.

Related Articles –

A Global Force for Good (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)

Navy Birthday Information – 13 October 1775 (history.navy.mil)

Navy Birthday – 13 October 1775 (history.navy.mil)

237 Years of Putting Warfighting First (navy.mil)

SecNav Highlights Heritage and Warfighting in Birthday Message to the Fleet (navy.mil)

SECNAV Navy Birthday Message (navy.mil)

CNO Navy Birthday Message (navy.mil)

MCPON’s Navy Birthday Message (navy.mil)

Naval Station Norfolk Holds Birthday Celebration (navy.mil)

Six Key Words for CNO Birthday Message: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready (navy.mil)

What is a Teammate?

Posted in Leadership, Video of the Week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

File:USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) photo illustration.jpgThis past Saturday, October 6, the United States Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), at pier 88 in Manhattan, New York City.  This ship honors Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, a New York native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, June 28, 2005.

Among other distinguished guests, in attendance for the commissioning ceremony were the Mayor of New York City, the Honorable Michael Bloomberg, the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Jonathan Greenert.  Also present was Adm. William McRaven, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command.  It was Adm. McRaven’s four-minute remarks during the ceremony that stood out to me, and is the subject of this post.

“Michael Murphy represents all that is good about our special operations warrior.  And, to have a fine fighting ship named after him is the highest compliment one could’ve paid to Murph, and all the SOF soldiers and SEALs who perished that fateful day,” Adm. McRaven said.  “In the SEAL teams, the greatest compliment one SEAL can bestow upon another is to call him a teammate.  It’s a simple term, but it conveys everything about how we live, how we fight, and sometimes how we die,” Adm. McRaven said.

What is a teammate?  Watch the video below, and let Admiral William McRaven define it for you.

The following video is a combination tribute to Lt. (SEAL) Michael Murphy and remarks by Adm. McRaven from the ship’s commissioning. Unfortunately, I was unable to embed the raw video from his speech. But, you can find the original video HERE. But, the video I am presenting here is quite touching. Adm. McRaven’s remarks, along with the music and images in the video, make it perfect for this post.

Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy lived, fought and died a teammate to his shipmates; a teammate to the end.

To the crew of the Michael Murphy, you have a legacy to uphold.  Murph would expect anything bearing his name to be battle-ready at all times; to go in harm’s way when the Nation calls, and to bond together as teammates, knowing that it’s not the metal in the ship that makes you strong, it’s the hearts and souls of her crew that make her invincible.  To the officers and crew of the USS Michael Murphy, may Michael’s spirit steady your resolve and guide your every deed.

Admiral William McRaven

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Commissioning Ceremony

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112)

 

Related Articles –

USS Michael Murphy Commissioning – full live webcast (youtube.com)

SEAL of Honor (sealofhonor.com)

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) on Facebook (facebook.com)

#Warfighter: USS Michael Murphy Crew Honors Namesake (navy.mil)

Leadership: My Military Heritage

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Trevor, over at the blog Leadership Musings of a Skeptical Positivist is proud of his military heritage, and what the military has done to help lay his leadership foundation. The values of honor, courage and commitment are the cornerstones of that foundation, and he opens up in this post what those values mean to him, and to leadership in general.

I/O Musings of a Skeptical Positivist

Leadership ValuesNestled amidst the swampy forests of Fort Benning, Georgia, the image of Iron Mike is a common site.  No, not Mike Tyson.  Rather, Iron Mike, the U.S. Army’s Infantry symbol and mascot.  An advancing soldier, rifle clutched in one hand and his other arm raised above his head, beckoning others forward.  The infantry motto….Follow Me!

It’s this image that inspired a nineteen year old Army Private in the early 90s, not only for its romantic visage of honor and courage, but for the message it held up as the standard for leadership.

Half a decade later, it was the Navy’s touted values of Honor, Courage, Commitment that helped round out my vision of what leadership means.  It’s a combination of all these that defines the highest quality of leadership to me.

Follow MeFollow Me – More than simply being provided the authority to demand performance of others, it’s the essence of…

View original post 368 more words

The U.S. Navy’s ‘Year of the Chief’ Kicks Off

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

The post, The United States Navy Chief Petty Officer ~ Established April 1, 1893, has become one of the most popular posts on this blog.  Since I posted it on Friday night, it has had over 1,000 page views, and many comments and “Likes,” as well as over 750 Facebook shares.  Since the topic is hot, and many who frequent my blog share the heritage of the Navy Chief, as well as those who have served in the United States Navy, I wanted to share with you some relevant and timely news and information about how the Navy is celebrating this special occasion.  Below, you will see an article posted today on the Navy’s website about the kick-off of “The Year of the Chief.”  Following the article, I have compiled a variety of links to various articles about celebrations around the Navy to commemorate the 119th birthday of the Navy Chief Petty Officer.

Navy Memorial LogoFrom April 1st, 2012 until March 30, 2013, the Navy Memorial will be spotlighting The Year of the Chief.  This is to honor all Chief Petty Officers who have served; past and present.  The Memorial’s museum will feature displays depicting Chief life, work, history, and accomplishments.  Additionally, numerous events throughout the Navy will be held all year to highlight the Chief.  Consider this post a public service announcement.

Also, visit 2012 Year of the Chief (YOTC) on Facebook.

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‘Year of the Chief’ Kicks Off

The United States Navy Memorial hosted the official kick-off of the Year of the Chief and the 119th birthday celebration of the chief petty officer during a ceremony April 2.

For the first time in history, the Navy Memorial is casting a spotlight on the history, heritage and contributions of chief petty officers.

The guest speaker for the event was Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert. Remarks were also given by both Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West and former MCPON James L. Herdt. Former MCPON Duane R. Bushey was also in attendance.

“The chief is the center of gravity,” said Greenert. “There is not a seaman, petty officer or officer out there who cannot turn and say, ‘I had a chief petty officer take care of me and get me where I am today.'”

The ceremony was attended by chiefs from across the nation who came not only to be a part of the official kick-off, but also to see the Memorial transformed into a Chiefs’ Mess, resplendent with history and memorabilia spanning 119 years.

“We are becoming a part of history today,” said West. “I see retired veterans in our midst and I am proud to carry on down a path they’ve laid for us so long ago. I couldn’t be more pleased to be spending this day with representatives from so many commands. To stand in front of a sea of fouled anchors as your MCPON, and know that we are as much making history as we are a part of it … I am truly humbled.”

After the ceremony, guests were invited into the Memorial for the cake cutting. Visitors were then encouraged to walk through the Memorial, which has been decorated to reflect historical uniforms, anchors and other iconic symbols from the colorful heritage of CPOs.

“Happy birthday chief petty officers, you’ve earned it,” said Greenert. “Absorb the moment, have a great year, remember your legacy and what got you here.”

West added his expectations and appreciation for chiefs serving today.

“You are bold and accountable, executing the Navy’s mission wherever you are, and developing the next generation of Sailors,” West said. “Thank you shipmates – including those who have gone before us and those who are no longer with us – you have served your country well and will continue to do so as long as we sail the seven seas.”

‘Year of the Chief’ Kicks Off – By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Terrina Weatherspoon, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy – Release Date: 4/3/2012 – http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=66249 – Accessed 3 April 2012 – Navy.mil (official website of the United States Navy) – http://www.navy.mil

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Various links to articles about celebrations around the Navy for the 119th birthday of the Navy Chief Petty Officer –

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON): Happy 119th Birthday CPOs!

USS Emory S. Land Chiefs Celebrate CPO Birthday

USS Enterprise Celebrates 119 Years of the Chief Petty Officer

USS Blue Ridge, C7F Chiefs Celebrate 119th CPO birthday

Naval Medical Logistics Command: ‘Happy 119th Birthday Navy Chiefs’

Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) Holds 119th Birthday Celebration for Navy Chief Petty Officers

Navy Chief Petty Officers Celebrate Birthday with a 5K

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Related Articles –

Happy Birthday Chief’s: Navy Chief Petty Officers Celebrate 119 Years of Service (padresteve.com)

The United States Navy Chief Petty Officer ~ Established April 1, 1893

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

On Sunday, April 1, the United States Navy will celebrate the 119th birthday of the Chief Petty Officer (CPO) rank.  The CPO is a senior enlisted, non-commissioned officer (NCO) at the pay grades of E-7 (Chief Petty Officer), E-8 (Senior Chief Petty Officer) and E-9 (Master Chief Petty Officer).  Typically, these sailors have been in the Navy for at least twelve years, although some hard-charging sailors can reach this rank in as little as nine or ten years.  CPO’s are, in essence, the middle managers of the Navy.  While commissioned officers are in charge of the department, ship or shore station, and are ultimately accountable for the performance of the entire unit, the Navy Chief is in charge of getting the work done through the junior enlisted sailors.  Also, CPO’s often train junior officers, especially when they first report for duty on their first ship.  Although newly commissioned officers have a newly received college degree, they are unfamiliar with the workings of a Naval ship or submarine, as well as the tasks of the department or crew their assigned to.

Although the pay grades of E-7 through E-9 are equivalent to those of other services, the Navy is unique in that it confers much more authority and responsibility on the Chief, while demanding more performance and results than any of the other services.  Advancement into the CPO grades is the most significant promotion within the enlisted Naval ranks.  Typically, when a Petty Officer First Class and lower ranks go up for advancement, they are promoted based on an advancement examination score.  However, when a Sailor makes “Chief,” the candidate must pass the written examination, be selected by a special board made up of Senior and Master Chief Petty Officers, and Commissioned Officers, and then the selectee is “Appointed” by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, and “initiated” into the ranks of the Chief Petty Officers.

A Chief Petty Officer, no matter how much he was on a “first name” basis with other petty officers before promotion, is always addressed as “Chief” by subordinates and superiors.  When a sailor has a problem, or is in a crisis situation, he or she goes to “Ask The Chief.”  CPO’s often are the instrument of swift decision, and are always relied on to get things done; visible leaders who set the tone.  And, they are generally charged with keeping good order and discipline within the lower enlisted ranks.

CPO’s provide leadership to the enlisted force and advice to Navy leadership to create combat-ready Naval Forces.  They are the senior enlisted force that serves first and foremost as deckplate leaders committed to developing sailors and enforcing standards.  The term “deckplate leaders” is a slang, everyday Navy term referring to the Chief Petty Officer’s leadership.  In naval terminology, the deckplate can roughly refer to the deck (“flooring”), or the area of the deck of a ship or submarine.  Admiral Mike Mullen, the former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) (2005 to 2007) and former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) (2007 to 2011), stressed the importance of deckplate leadership in a podcasted message to the Navy’s newest Chief Petty Officers in the fall of 2007 when he said, “You can’t be a Chief from behind a computer screen or in an email or even on the phone.  You’ve got to be there, out on the deckplates with your people and their families. You’ve got to walk the spaces. It’s the first principle of naval leadership.”

In an interview for All Hands magazine’s March 26 Update for the Pentagon Channel, former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), John L. Herdt (Ret.) (the ninth MCPON – 1998 to 2002) spoke of the responsibilities of being a Chief, and of being a leader, saying, “As a Chief Petty Officer, there is never a day, when you put on that uniform, that you don’t have the ability to swing your legs out of the rack, put your feet on the deck, and go make a positive difference in a sailor’s life.  You can do that every day for your entire career.  Whether or not you choose to do it is going to determine whether or not you’re a good Chief, or just a Chief.”

Navy Chiefs have their own creed and their own fraternity, and their profession is filled with tradition dating back 119 years.  Active duty and retired alike, Navy Chiefs are the ones who have set the example and “make it happen” in the Navy.  They are bound and dedicated to their duty as leaders forever.  Tested ~ Selected ~ Initiated.  Happy birthday to ALL Navy Chiefs!!!

*Related Post —> The U.S. Navy ‘Year of the Chief’ Kicks Off (posted 3 April 2012)

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MCPON 2012 CPO Birthday Message

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 United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Creed

During the course of this day you have been caused to humbly accept challenge and face adversity. This you have accomplished with rare good grace. Pointless as some of these challenges may have seemed, there were valid, time-honored reasons behind each pointed barb. It was necessary to meet these hurdles with blind faith in the fellowship of Chief Petty Officers. The goal was to instill in you that trust is inherent with the donning of the uniform of a Chief. It was our intent to impress upon you that challenge is good; a great and necessary reality which cannot mar you – which, in fact, strengthens you. In your future as a Chief Petty Officer., you will be forced to endure adversity far beyond that imposed upon you today. You must face each challenge and adversity with the same dignity and good grace you demonstrated today. By experience, by performance, and by testing, you have been this day advanced to Chief Petty Officer. In the United States Navy – and only in the United States Navy – the rank of E7 carries with it unique responsibilities and privileges you are now bound to observe and expected to fulfill. Your entire way of life is now changed. More will be expected of you; more will be demanded of you. Not because you are a E7 but because you are now a Chief Petty Officer. You have not merely been promoted one paygrade, you have joined an exclusive fellowship and, as in all fellowships, you have a special responsibility to your comrades, even as they have a special responsibility to you. This is why we in the United States Navy may maintain with pride our feelings of accomplishment once we have attained the position of Chief Petty Officer. Your new responsibilities and privileges do not appear in print. They have no official standing; they cannot be referred to by name, number, nor file. They have existed for over 100 years, Chiefs before you have freely accepted responsibility beyond the call of printed assignment. Their actions and their performance demanded the respect of their seniors as well as their juniors. It is now required that you be the fountain of wisdom, the ambassador of good will, the authority in personal relations as well as in technical applications. “Ask the Chief” is a household phrase in and out of the Navy. You are now the Chief. The exalted position you have now achieved – and the word exalted is used advisedly – exists because of the attitude and performance of the Chiefs before you. It shall exist only as long as you and your fellow Chiefs maintain these standards. It was our intention that you never forget this day. It was our intention to test you, to try you, and to accept you. Your performance has assured us that you will wear “the hat” with the same pride as your comrades in arms before you. We take a deep and sincere pleasure in clasping your hand, and accepting you as a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy.

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Related Articles –

History of the Chief Petty Officer Grade (usmilitary.about.com)

When God Made the Navy Chief Petty Officer (billericapolitics.org)

Management By Walking About (deckplateleader.wordpress.com)

Happy Birthday Chief’s: Navy Chief Petty Officers Celebrate 119 Years of Service (padresteve.com)

Sources –

Chief Petty Officer (United States) – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Petty_Officer_(United_States) – Accessed 30 March 2012 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/

Hagan, John, and J. F. Leahy. The Chief Petty Officer’s Guide. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 2004. Print.
The U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer – Gonzo’s Garage (The CPO Page) – http://www.gonzosgarage.net/gonavy/about_cpos.htm – Accessed 30 March 2012 – Gonzo’s Garage (Navy Page) – http://www.gonzosgarage.net/gonavy/ – Gonzo’s Garage (Main Page) – http://www.gonzosgarage.net/
The Goat Locker (Chief Petty Officer)http://www.goatlocker.org/cpo.html – Accessed 30 March 2012 – The Goat Locker – http://www.goatlocker.org/
Chief Petty Officer Resource Linkshttp://www.goatlocker.org/cpo-resources.html – Accessed 30 March 2012 – The Goat Locker – http://www.goatlocker.org/
Congrats, Chief! Anchors Pinned Worldwide- Navy Times – By Mark D. Faram (staff writer) – Posted Friday, September 21, 2007 – http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/09/navy_chiefs_advanced_070921w/ – Accessed 30 March 2012 – Navy Times – http://www.navytimes.com/
Navy Memorial Spotlights Year of the Chief – All Hands Update Mar. 26, 2012 #3 – U.S. Navy – Posted March 26, 2012 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1_6jsFX_w4 – Accessed 30 March 2012 – YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/
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