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.