Chief Petty Officer (CPO) selects from commands throughout Naval District Washington (NDW) have been working hard through their CPO 365 training since Navy chief selection board results were announced in early August. As part of their training, the region’s selectees held a “burger burn” at the Washington Navy Yard Aug. 21 to raise funds for the Chief’s Mess they will soon join.
The event itself was more than just a fund raiser, though. As with every part of their training as CPO selects, a lesson was at the root of the evolution. The more than 20 selectees participated under the supervision of their chief, senior chief and master chief mentors, as a means of learning to work with and depend on one another.
“Events like the burger burn and everything else have really been an eye opener and a team effort,” said CPO selectee Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) (Select) Jamar Salters. “Not only have they been a way to meet the community, but they’re a way to really get involved with the other chiefs. It’s taught us to rely on our fellow chiefs and lets us know that we’ve got the support of the [Chief’s] Mess, like they have the support of us. I’ve definitely learned a lot.”
Support for the event was noticeable, with a line of customers stretching half of a block for the majority of the two-hour cookout.
“It feels great to see everyone out here supporting our chief selects,” said Chief Information Systems Technician (Select) Dedric Richardson. “Civilians, military, and especially the ‘geniuses’ - the chiefs, senior chiefs, and master chiefs - have really come out in good numbers to let us know that it’s one team, one fight.”
Even those in charge of training these newest deck plate leaders of the Navy were impressed with the amount of effort and cooperation the selectees showed during the event.
“The cookout was great,” said Chief Yeoman Rick Riley, one of the mentors and CPO 365 instructors for the region’s CPO selectees. “It has been well organized, the food was good, the service was fast, and it’s really great to see [the selectees] working together to accomplish their goals.
Riley added that community involvement is as much a part of the CPO selectee training process as other traditions such as the “charge book,” a book of recommendations, encouragement, and words of wisdom from the selectees’ prospective CPO colleagues.
Other events planned for the region’s CPO selectees include car washes, community service projects, and a 5k run at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va.
CPO 365, a year-long development and training process for first class petty officers, was first introduced in 2010 under former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West. It includes two phases, the first of which begins in September each year. Phase two of training begins when CPO selectees are announced and concludes with the anchor-pinning ceremony making the selectees full-fledged Navy chiefs.
For more information and photos about CPO selectee events in NDW, visit www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.