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August 4, 2006

New Chief Petty Officer Selectees Announced

Congratulations on the selectees who made it into the Goat Locker. It is truly the beginning of a new phase of thier naval career.

For those CPO selectee hopefuls, present company included, who did not make it the best advice anyone can give is to "keep trying". Sage advice to be sure, but what of the percentage of board eligible candidates who had their last shot at Chief go whooshing by like the air out of MBT's? I, too, fall into this statistic.

First Class Petty Officers are forced to retire after 20 years. I will go over 19 in a few weeks.

I now have one year to prepare myself for CIVPAC (future retiree talk for 'Civilian Pacific', yes, you can take the man out of the Navy but not the Navy out of the man) and make the transition to move to northern CA. I have taken advantage of Tuition Assistance and MGIB and plowed out degrees, hoping to catch the eye of the board but to also prepare myself for post retirement job hunts.

Although it took me a while, I finally realized what good advice so many Chiefs gave me when they said, "You have to know when to pick your battles." Sometimes fighting command policy just isn't worth jeopardizing your career over. On that note, telling the COB to go crap in a hat probably isn’t good for evals either.

You don’t need a DUI or become a recovering PRT failure to pick up Chief, although sometimes I really do wonder. People love to see a comeback but what of the people who don’t need anything to come back from?

It is more frustrating to see the people who make Chief pass you by who were once your junior. A very good friend of mine made it this year, first time up, and I was his ‘A’ School instructor! I’ll just trick myself and say that it was my expert tutelage that helped him advance. Even more frustrating are the herds of goobers that make Chief, or any other rank for that matter. People that can’t do the basic things required of them on the job somehow manage to make it through their ranks. You have all seen the by products of those Chiefs in the way their divisions operate.

Make no mistake, I am not bitter about being passed over (the military’s phrase that translates to the hip lingo of “You got punk’d”) and I have a very successful career, sans getting promoted to Chief. It makes the vinegar go down a little easier when people tell you your performance has been that of a Chief or even a Senior Chief, but it falls short of actually wearing the uniform.

Perhaps this is vent but I hope that fellow candidates who fall into a similar predicament will realize that life is not over- our career perhaps, but not our lives. We made a difference in someone’s career through our constant training and surgical mentoring. We will finish out our 20 years with our heads held high and continue to check the message boards to see if our shipmates have made the advancement list.

Listen to the Chief’s advice, swallow your pride when you must, never compromise your integrity.


  1. This was a great post...... I'm glad you are able to put it all into words.

    I for one have no qulams saying that they suck ass :) It's not like they can demote me.

    For what it's worth, they only put through 39 people in your rate (list is out on the Navy Times website). I take great issue with one of the names on the list, but like you said, everone loves a good comeback story which would explain them making it.

    Steve knows what he was talking about - take that to heart.

    - Your biggest fan

  2. OK, I'll call myself your 'second biggest fan'...

    Let's just say it's the Navy's loss - And yes, they suck ass...

  3. They never want warriors until the dogs of war are loosed. Take up your sword and shield and go into the world. There is always employment for a man who knows how to use his tools.

  4. The Nay Vee's policy of up 'er out is very foolish. I only spent 5 fun-filled-action-packed years in the canoe club, but I saw more than a few truly great technicians leave (and more in later years when I was civcom and they were ending their useful years with uncle popcorn) due to this silly rule, while the burn-bag bung-hole smoochers rocketed up the ..ok, enough metaphors.

    It's a dumb policy. Love the blog, and good luck converting your rate to civilian. It's tough to do, even tougher for bubblers (I was just a rider scum) due to cultural issues (winning the first poop on patrol contest is not a valued skill in industry, so leaving off the resume is recommended.)