History of the Chief Petty Officer Grade
Transcript: – [Narrator] April 1, 1893 marks the day of the creation of the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Although history will show us that well before that time, men served their commanding officers in the same way that Chiefs do now, it was not until 1893 that the rank of Chief was officially recognized. Since that tine, Chiefs have been charged with the duties and the responsibilities of ensuring our sailors are the best trained, ready to carry out our Navy’s mission when called upon, sometimes with short notice. The high place of the Chief Petty Officer in the peacetime Navy between the World Wars was not a myth then, nor is it one today. In the working and disciplinary hierarchy of the Navy, the CPO’s position has not lost one iota of its significance. Our mission, vision, and guiding principles were forged in a tradition of CPO leadership. A brand of leadership that is unique only to those who have walked the deckplates as a Chief. Those principles are the time-honored values that have been the characteristics of Chiefs since our inception. It is said that the Chief Petty Officer is the backbone of the Navy. This statement stems from the experience and knowledge required of a sailor in order to reach this coveted rank. – [Mike] Being in the United States Navy is about service. Being a Chief Petty Officer is about serving those that serve, so it’s service times two. And I will tell you from the day you put on that fouled anchor, until the day you retire, each day it becomes more a part of who you are. – [Jim] CPO’s are the keepers of the Navy’s heritage. I’ve never forgotten that. That resonates with me. We are the keepers of the Navy’s heritage. The Navy Memorial Foundation will continue to honor Chiefs. This is just the end of the Year of the Chief. We don’t go out and just do a job, you go out and you excel at everything that you do. Chiefs are the backbone of the Navy. They are arguably the finest, senior enlisted leadership component of all of our services. They will always be the best in my heart. And when you look at the symbol for the Year of the Chief this year, you’ll see that there’s a tagline down there that says, “Anchoring Seaborne Leadership.” Chiefs, you are the anchor. You are the anchor of our Navy, you are my anchor. Thank you for all you have done this year.
All Hands Magazine