The Navy's chiefs need to reestablish their role as the communications conduit between enlisted and officers—and stop the exodus of our sailors.
As we move into the new millennium and the Navy struggles to deal with the problems of fiscal challenges and learning to become a more efficient organization, chief petty officers must step forward and take a leadership role—on a scale we are only just beginning to comprehend. The origins of these challenges are as varied as the paradigms we must break to meet them. A prosperous economy and waning patriotism have made service in the military less appealing than in times past. As these trends continue, the value of each sailor skyrockets. Chiefs putting on their anchors today are not prepared to face this situation. In order to understand where we are and where we must go, we first must explore how we arrived at this crossroads of enlisted leadership.