Navy Chief: Keep the Charge

You don't own your Anchors. You proudly received your Anchors upon your acceptance and in doing so received an inherent charge, which is to carry on the legacy of Chiefs currently serving and those who have gone before us - A Legacy of Excellence. Carry them you will, the weight consists of everything both internal and external to you; it's a weight known to any genuine Chief. 
Today's Chief exists on borrowed credibility. Subject to question yet upheld on integrity, your capacity to speak to Sailors as ‘The Chief’ exists only from your ability to exercise this credibility wisely. Borrowed because we possess it for a time, credible because its establishment was tempered by those who laid the foundation. The channel was dredged by Chiefs long before we considered joining the Navy, or rather, before we were born. Humbly wear your Anchors, do not let them wear you. Your character can brighten the Anchor making it more visible, or tarnish the Anchor depleting it to low visibility.

What was your motivation to become ‘The Chief’? What course did you take? Worn is the map you charted, the journey you embarked upon had many sea lanes that all led to one. It's no secret how the Navy selects its Senior Enlisted Leadership. In a few all-encompassing words: Sustained Superior Performance. The same set of fervent traits that resultantly placed your name on the selection list mustn’t cease, yet through earnest time must magnify passionately because there is no substitute for experience. 
As 'The Chief', do what you say you're going to do. Thoughts and feelings drive attitude, when acted out they become behavior and over time this defines your character. What you say is audible, a representation of who you are. Conclusion: words are actionable. The Anchor alone speaks for itself. The assumption of the title implies action - words unspoken. Therefore, do what you say you're going to do. 

The world is ever evolving, always changing... we cannot change the direction of the wind nor its intensity. In order for the Navy to remain relevant in keeping our shorelines safe, we must continue to adjust our rudder. Our compass must align with the Navy’s senior leadership, because at one point early on they followed the course corrections their Chiefs provided when they themselves were junior officers. Yes, the links in our chain runs deep. This is our heading, or else those contrary to the freedoms we protect will overtake us. The end result remains the same. Therefore, do not think of it as a race, rather, what is the best course that captures prevailing winds and following seas. 
What is the point? The Chief must stand at the forefront in leading change, necessary change, even if that means making unpopular decisions. The Chief is the selfless leader that requires no recognition, the success of the Sailor is the only reward. So humbly lead through personal example and ‘hold fast’ the line, do not settle. Be the beacon that our Sailors aspire to become, OWN the legacy. Everything that comes from it will decisively impact our Navy’s relevancy. Rudder check as necessary - be open to feedback and keep steady the course because the Chiefs’ centerline must remain true.

At a time in a Chief's future, the Anchor must be passed down and turned over in order to stand properly relieved. So turn over your Anchors better than the way you received them, keep in mind that Chiefs build leaders. Therefore, train your relief to assume the watch; all while maintaining the continuity that endures the credible ideals that Navy Chiefs are renowned for. Lest, the standards that Chiefs maintain will forever be lost to the perils of the sea.
The Chief is the keel of the Navy, the strength of the Chief is the Mess. One weak link in our chain creates a list, and the Anchors’ weakened integrity ultimately destabilizes our Navy. Therefore, fulfill the role, sound the pitch, that is, the tone of the Mess and resonate excellence where it is absent. 

 Keep the Charge.

Joshua Furnish, FCCM(SW)