Any man or woman who has worn the uniform of a chief petty officer has shared in the responsibility of training, mentoring, and molding sailors to achieve and succeed at that level and beyond.
These duties are never more intense or important than each August and September when CPO Messes worldwide lead, guide, and train sailors selected to transition from first class petty officer to chief petty officer.
The process and techniques used to prepare these sailors for life-changing responsibilities vary around the Fleet, but in each case they focus on changing attitudes from personal achievement to group success and rely heavily on character development and humility. No matter what particular methods are used, the process transforms the sailors and readies them to enter the demanding arena in which chiefs operate.
The ability and influence of chief petty officers as individuals and as a group have resulted in “Ask the chief” becoming a household phrase even for people who’ve never worn a uniform.