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    An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    I am going to be a bit blunt here. While I am not going to indulge in personal insults, etc., neither am I going to temper my remarks with the political correctness that has infected the military and society over the past 30 years. I do not believe in pulling punches; nor will I tolerate comments/actions intended to denigrate someone simply because of their race, religion, ethnic background, gender, or choice of partner when it comes to intimate relations. If Navy Times chooses to print this, I hope they do not abridge my comments.

    First and foremost selectees, remember one thing - you are SAILORS first, last, and always. Makes no difference if some is a recruit just leaving bootcamp, a Navy SEAL, a SeaBee, an EOD Tech, the CNO, whatever - all are Sailors. Admiral Burke was a Sailor - even said so on his tombstone. Good enough for him, should be good enough for you. You have an issue with being called a Sailor, maybe you're in the wrong branch of the service.

    Next, on 16 September you will get your anchors and either be advanced or frocked to the rate of Chief Petty Officer. What that means is regardless of your rating, all anyone is going to see is a Chief - they don't give two hoots if you are a Boatswain, a Master-at-Arms, a Machinist, Navy Diver, what have you - you are the Chief and the one they will look to for help and advice, be it rating specific, Navy in general, how to deal with a Sailor that doesn't respond to their efforts to correct their behavior, whatever. While you know a lot, you do not know everything. That means admitting to someone you don't know the answer and then finding it out in order to get back to them with the answer. That includes talking with your juniors - they may just know something you don't. Same for the Officers - while a lot of the junior officers don't have the practical experience you do, they are well-educated and just may know something from academia that will help you understand something.

    You need humility. When you do make a mistake, be adult enough to admit it and move forward. Too many Chiefs like to pretend they are infallible, leading to predictable results. I found I gained a lot of respect from my juniors, peers, and seniors when I owned up to a mistake, learned from it, and moved on. The nonsense about us being infallible is just that - nonsense. I also did not need to beat my chest and brag about how big and bad I was as a Chief - I simply let my actions do the talking. I found the braggers were usually the ones having the hardest time getting things accomplished.

    You need an open mind. Just because you make a decision does not mean you immediately blind yourself to new information regarding the course of action you chose. You may need to take that information, evaluate it, and possibly change your course of action to prevent an embarrassing situation. Too many folks can't be bothered with the facts once they decide what will be done.

    You are no one's friend - you are their boss, mentor, advisor, what have you but you are not their friend. You are not there to make people feel good, smooth ruffled feathers, and so on - you are there to do a job. However, that does not mean you run roughshod over your Sailors. In fact, treating them with courtesy and respect will result in them doing the same to you, and that means you will have an easier time getting the job done. Treat them like dirt, and they will set you up for failure every time. If a Sailor hits a snag, help them up and then move forward from the issue. However, it does not mean shield them from the consequences of their actions if they do wrong, and definitely does not mean look down on them when they screw up.

    There are some that will refuse to participate in the Chief whatever the blazes the MCPON wants to call it this year. That is fine, their choice. Don't you dare treat them as anything but a Chief, especially outside the door of the Mess, or allow any other Chief to do so. The other Sailors see that sort of thing happen, and they will jump right on it to divide us against ourselves. Genuine or Non-Genuine, you need to present a united front outside the door. That comment comes from a Genuine Chief Petty Officer.

    One final thought - you all owe big-time all the folks you led up to this point, as well as the Chiefs (good and bad) that taught you what you needed to know to get to this point, and the LPO's, Chief's and Officers that wrote the evals that eventually convinced the board you have what it takes to do the job of a Chief and selected you over some else. Do not ever forget that.

    Good luck, and congratulations Chiefs. Now turn to and make it happen.

    BMC, USN Retired

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    Well spoken, Chief!

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    MCPON should make this message his policy and issue it to the fleet, BZ Chief.

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    @Chief Bosun ... BZ!

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    Amen...I'd like to see the AF SNCO's doing this, but it'll never happen.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Voice View Post
    Amen...I'd like to see the AF SNCO's doing this, but it'll never happen.
    No you wouldn't. Trust me. Ask a Marine SNCO who has been onboard a Navy ship what it's like to have the line between NCO and SNCO further defined by the Navy for them, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    I took the Chief exam for LDO purposes, and then the second time around where I would actually take it for Chief... my EAOS was about a month after that. My immediate chain of command thought that I wasn't up for it (I was the senior PS onboard, so they didn't have the expertise), but I didn't correct them. I just didn't take it. Even if they did know, and forced me to take it, I'd have "Christmas Treed" that exam anyway.

    By the way, I cut a perfect 80 to make PO2, and over a 79 to make PO1 - my EVALs were good enough, I had my bachelor's and was half way through my master's at the time, and any exam score I would have gotten could have made me a shoe-in.

    I honestly didn't want it.

    I really wish the Navy was like the other services, where promotion to E7 was just another stripe on your sleeve. But it's not. And it makes for pretty bad culture. In the other services, it's everyone's goal to make E9; whereas, in the Navy, people stop caring once they make E7.

    One thing I noticed was during my time in was that EVERY Chief who verbalized their desire to me to make Senior Chief (and there are very few of them) has made it. That could be an indicator that the rest don't care and aren't giving them any competition. I've also seen a few make it who actually didn't give a damn. What I have NEVER seen was someone who was disappointed for not making it.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    No you wouldn't. Trust me. Ask a Marine SNCO who has been onboard a Navy ship what it's like to have the line between NCO and SNCO further defined by the Navy for them, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    I took the Chief exam for LDO purposes, and then the second time around where I would actually take it for Chief... my EAOS was about a month after that. My immediate chain of command thought that I wasn't up for it (I was the senior PS onboard, so they didn't have the expertise), but I didn't correct them. I just didn't take it. Even if they did know, and forced me to take it, I'd have "Christmas Treed" that exam anyway.

    By the way, I cut a perfect 80 to make PO2, and over a 79 to make PO1 - my EVALs were good enough, I had my bachelor's and was half way through my master's at the time, and any exam score I would have gotten could have made me a shoe-in.

    I honestly didn't want it.

    I really wish the Navy was like the other services, where promotion to E7 was just another stripe on your sleeve. But it's not. And it makes for pretty bad culture. In the other services, it's everyone's goal to make E9; whereas, in the Navy, people stop caring once they make E7.

    One thing I noticed was during my time in was that EVERY Chief who verbalized their desire to me to make Senior Chief (and there are very few of them) has made it. That could be an indicator that the rest don't care and aren't giving them any competition. I've also seen a few make it who actually didn't give a damn. What I have NEVER seen was someone who was disappointed for not making it.
    I meant more along the lines of camaraderie(i may be wrong in this assumption as well). The SNCO's as a group in the AF are the worst I have seen in my 20+ years. They are so rank driven to the point of stepping on other peers to get there. Now there are many great ones out there but the bad ones seem to stand out the most. I'm sure an entire thread could be made on the 5 services about whats wrong with their SNCO's, but I'll just say as a group the AF's priorities are all wrong.

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    I was a SNCO in the Marines, and we had what I consider to be a healthy amount of camaradierie & espirit de corps. However, the only military tattoo I have does not ID me as a former USMC Gunnery Sergeant but simply as a Marine, when people ask about my background I don't say "I am a former Gunnery Sergeant" but simply "I am a prior enlisted Marine."

    My opinion: The Chief's Mess is a very proud organization -- rightly so. For some at times it seems their pride in being a Chief overshadows the pride of being a Sailor, something that @Chief Bosun addresses in the OP.

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalwart View Post
    I was a SNCO in the Marines, and we had what I consider to be a healthy amount of camaradierie & espirit de corps. However, the only military tattoo I have does not ID me as a former USMC Gunnery Sergeant but simply as a Marine, when people ask about my background I don't say "I am a former Gunnery Sergeant" but simply "I am a prior enlisted Marine."

    My opinion: The Chief's Mess is a very proud organization -- rightly so. For some at times it seems their pride in being a Chief overshadows the pride of being a Sailor, something that @Chief Bosun addresses in the OP.
    That's one thing I liked about the Marine Corps. By looking at a Marine's uniform, you can't tell what their MOS is or what unit they're assigned to, or even what type of unit it is. You'll also never find a bumper sticker on a Marine's car that identifies these things either.

    Seems to me that the man doesn’t make the uniform; the uniform makes the man. This is exactly why the Navy should have stuck to its guns when it came to the uniform changes made by Adm Zumwalt.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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    Re: An Open Letter to the FY2014 Chief Selectees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    That's one thing I liked about the Marine Corps. By looking at a Marine's uniform, you can't tell what their MOS is or what unit they're assigned to, or even what type of unit it is. You'll also never find a bumper sticker on a Marine's car that identifies these things either.

    Seems to me that the man doesn’t make the uniform; the uniform makes the man. This is exactly why the Navy should have stuck to its guns when it came to the uniform changes made by Adm Zumwalt.
    True fact, there are a couple of things that can help narrow it down: Aircrew Wings, EOD insignia etc. I had jump wings and a scuba badge which made it pretty obvious what I did.

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