April is a great time for chief petty officers to reflect on their history and proud heritage. The rank was created on 1 April 1893, and for the last 117 years, countless men and women have joined the "most exclusive of all maritime fraternities." While many chiefs choose to leave the Mess each year to pursue opportunities in the officer corps, their roots remain in the enlisted community.
Remembering where you came from is a common theme instilled in new chiefs during Initiation rituals. This link to one's past is an important leadership trait that helps chiefs understand Sailors and maintain proper perspective. When a chief chooses to leave the Mess for service in the wardroom, we also expect they will remember their enlisted roots and the lessons learned as a chief. Serving chiefs commonly judge and react to these officers by this very standard. Those who maintain that emotional connection are easy to identify; so too are the ones who've forgotten where they came from.