Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Pride Day

All of the US Armed Forces have nine enlisted grades, E-1 through E-9.  In the Navy and the Coast Guard, the top three enlisted grades are known as Chief Petty Officers.

  • E-7 – Chief Petty Officer
  • E-8   Senior Chief Petty Officer
  • E-9   Master Chief Petty Officer

From the Navy Live: 10 Things to know about U.S. Navy Chiefs.

U.S. Navy chief petty officers are afforded more responsibility than any other enlisted rank in the world.

The objective of Chief Petty Officer Pride Day is to provide a momentous opportunity for Chiefs and Chief Selectees to network, be reunited with shipmates past, and display to the San Diego community the camaraderie of the United States Navy Chief Petty Officer network.

2019 CPO Pride Day was celebrated aboard the USS Midway

My shipmate, Phil Eakin, USN ret shared the following info with me by email.

My wife, Carol, leaves the house at 0500 this morning because the chiefs and CPO selectees will be starting to gather on the pier at 0530 or so for the preliminaries and getting ready for boarding.  She’s the military events coordinator for the Midway, and CPO Pride Day has been big on the Midway for a number of years.  This evening, with a beer in hand, she reports 2,261 chiefs and selectees participated.  There is a spread of 13 photos on the Midway Facebook page (link follows).  If you see a lady with a broken foot, that is Carol.  The older gent in one of the photos is Stu Headley, retired CPO and Pearl Harbor Survivor who does a lot of stuff with the Midway.  CPO Selectees in lighter shirts; CPO’s in darker shirts.

I have known many memorabe Navy Chiefs over my career.  Before I went to library school, I was a receptionist at for the  Special Services Office at the Naval Training Center, where I got to know seveal very special chiefs.

The normal sea-shore rotation was five years at sea, followed by a two-three year shore tour.  Since San Diego have more ships requiring sailors than it did shore billets, it  was hard to find enough billets for sailors who wanted to remain in San Diego to serve their shore tour.  Special Services (now Morale, Welfare and Receration–MWR) was one of the places that a shore based sailor or CPO could be assigned.

One of the chiefs during that  period was BMC John Gobo. (BMC is a Chief Boatswains Mate–pronounced Bosun) From Wikipedia:

The United States Navy occupational rating of boatswain’s mate (abbreviated as BM) is a designation given by the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) to enlisted members who were rated or “striking” for the rating as a deck seaman. The colloquial form of address for a boatswain’s mate is “Boats”.

The rating of Boatswain’s Mate dates from the American Revolutionary War and was one of the oldest U.S. Navy ratings in continuous existence from 1775 to present. For a period of three months at the end of 2016, the rating (along with all ratings in the Navy) was scheduled for elimination, but the proposed change was unpopular with both sailors and Navy veterans and was reversed in December of that year.[1]

The Chief’s Creed according to BMC Gobo
A Chief will never drink
But if a Chief will drink, a Chief will never get drunk
 
But if a Chief Gets Drunk, a Chief will never fall down
If a Chief should fall down,
He will fall on his left side, throwin his right arm over his body
So that everyone will think he is an admiral
Master Chief Petty Officer
Note the abundance of gold hash marks on the sleeve of this master chief petty officer.  He earned a gold hash mark for each good conduct enlistment.  Otherwise the hashmarks would be red.

 

CPO Pride Day 2019
CPO Pride Day 2019 on the deck of the USS Midway. 

 

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