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
U.S. Navy chief petty officers are afforded more responsibility than any other enlisted rank in the world.
2019 CPO Pride Day was celebrated aboard the USS Midway
My shipmate, Phil Eakin, USN ret shared the following info with me by email.
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.