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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Midway Maddy: Follow-up Interview

We first met Midway Maddy, beloved Midway Library mascot about 18 months ago.  Maddy is a service support animal to Nan, one the Midway Library’s stalwart volunteers.  It has been a year of change and upheaval for both Maddy and Nan.  

Maddy, It’s been almost two years since our last interview.  I think your fans would like to catch up with what has happened in the meantime.

  • I understand that Nan fell out of a helicopter on the flight deck while she was giving a tour to some family or friends.  Were you there when it happened and can you tell us about it?

Yes, she was giving a tour to my cousin, Stacey, and it was pretty scary.  My Aunt Shelba says mom jumped out of a helicopter without a parachute!  She was carrying me at the time, but fell so that I was on top.  She’s always looking out for me!  Editor’s note:  Maddy does consider these women her relatives and recognizes them by name.

 

  • I hear that Nan was in the hospital for a while after the accident.  How did the two of you handle the separation?
  • Maddy keeping one eye on Nan even in the hospital

The emergency crews were fantastic!  I was able to ride with mom in the ambulance, and I was with her in the emergency room, too.  Mom decided it was best for me to have someone to take me out for comfort breaks which she couldn’t do so Stacey took me to our neighbors.  The next morning as she was wheeled into the operating room, the nurse said “Isn’t there a dog?”  So I think I could have been there with her.  Mom is sending a picture of me on her bed the morning after her surgery.  There were quite a few people who worked at the hospital that came to visit.

It was harder, though, when she had to go back into ICU at the hospital (for both of us).  She was there twice as long that time and I was very worried and pretty inconsolable until she got back home.

Nan’s remarks  We were separated while in hospital–when I got home, Maddy wouldn’t leave my side to go outside.  She had to be picked up by one of my friends and carried outside to potty.  Once, they didnt close the door all the way and she immediately ran back in!

I think it was pretty traumatic for both of us.

 

  • Have you any recent Midway stories that you would like share with your fans?

I have so many wonderful friends at the Midway who want to give me treats that it is hard for Mom to limit them.  Also, I really enjoy waiting at the top of the ladder in order to greet everyone who comes in.

 

  • We’ve all gotten a bit older. Do you think your senior status has provided you with additional insights or wisdom you would like to share?

The best part of being older is having so many people adore me!  No matter your age, being cute definitely has it rewards.  Age does give you additional wisdom– it’s now easier for me to tell who needs a quick kiss or more attention when they pet me.

  • You and Nan both earned your 1000 hour leather jackets this past year.   How often have you had a chance to wear them to the Midway?

Maddy decked out in her 1000 hour volunteer leather flight jacket and patriotic colors for Memorial Day

 

We don’t have air conditioning in the library, and it was so warm last week that mom even took off my vest.  I have plenty of water, and I sleep most of the time.  (PS – There are rumors that we will be getting AC soon.)   Fortunately, it was cool enough on Memorial Day for us to wear our jackets—Mom is attaching my picture from that day.  I can’t wait until summer is over.

 

  • Our shipmate Joan, sadly passed away this past year. Nan has taken on Joan’s former role as Mistress of the Master Crew List.  Is she still a  Deck Log Diva and has that changed how often or your role when coming onboard the Midway?

Mom has lots of titles.  The most recent, as you mentioned, is Mistress of the Master Crew List.  She is also known as the Printer Queen as she is the only one on the Monday and Wednesday teams that can get the printers to work.    With all those titles, Deck Log Diva will be passed to another. We still come in twice a week and mom sits at a different desk, but it’s all good!

 

  • Is there any other question you wished I had asked you?

Have there been any changes during your tenure on the ship?

Since Mom and I went back to the Midway in March, it seems like even more people seek out my calming and comforting demeanor (I guess I was missed).   Some of the people in Admin, when they see me, come over and ask if they can pet me because they’re so busy and have so much to do, they just need a “Maddy love.”  Almost all of them say they feel better after they pet me.  Because all of the people, volunteers and employees, are so nice and work very hard, it makes me happy to think I can help and hopefully live up to being “Midway Maddy.”

Thank you for your interview Maddy.  We wish you a warm and long future of belly rubs, faces to kiss and people to comfort.  Your’re such a natural at the job.