An August Chief Petty Officer

by SMC Tommy Hale

The term August Chief Petty Officer is a description of any Chief Petty Officer. It is defined as inspiring reverence or admiration; representative of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic. I am a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy and I am charged with a leadership role like no other in the world. The title carries responsibilities and privileges no other armed forces grants to enlisted people. These responsibilities and privileges exist because for one hundred years, Chiefs have routinely sought out greater challenges and assumed more responsibilities. If my performance becomes detrimental through practical application in the performance of my duties, it effects all officers, peers, subordinates, the nation, her people and myself.

No one serves his or her country and her people like I, the Chief Petty Officer. I serve my country and her people with pride and honor. If I fail to serve my country and her people by being lackadaisical and nonproductive, it effects all decisions being made in the best interest of the Navy and the nation. I will be unsuccessful in my effort to demonstrate the courage that gives us the moral and mental strength to do what is right, even in the face of personal or professional adversity. The love I have and devotion for my country will unequivocally be insufficient. Without Chiefs, you don't have a Navy. You have a group of officers with no one to lead, delegate to or command. The strong drive and spirit that generates an atmosphere of confidence and success will cease to exist. Chief Petty Officers epitomizes the word serve like no other.

No one establishes the standards of performance like I, the Chief Petty Officer. If I demonstrate the standards of performance in a lackluster manner, my inability to establish the standards of performance will significantly reduce the subordinate's ability to take exceptional pride, to be capable, competent or well versed in the mechanics of their duties. He or she won't complete task on time and will be unsuccessful in all avenues of life. Additionally, he or she will cease to be a continuing source of innovative ideas and positive contributions. He or she will be reluctant to accept assignments regardless of scope and shy away from self-improvement and involvement in planning to maximize output as well as their personal and professional growth. Some people might consider them to be losers.

No one develops junior officers and mold sailors like I, the Chief Petty Officer. If I am absentminded, my junior officers and sailors will be ineffective in their decision-making ability and adaptability to changing situations to make him or her competent in any situation. Their feeling of belong through personal commitment and involvement will tumble. He or she won't understand the worth and dignity of each individual or achieve command objectives. Additionally, he or she will fail to display sound judgement, eagerness or demonstrate boldness coupled with the grasp of practicality in attacking all responsibilities. He or she will be afraid of accepting new and added duties and lack ability to produce quality results. Furthermore, he or she will display erratic work habits and be a weak, dispassionate ineffective leader. They will be plagued by indecisiveness and their performance of duty will be totally unsatisfactory. Small obstacles will impede their forward progress.

I, the Chief Petty Officer set the example like no one. For the last century, the example set by Chief Petty Officers has inspired our young men and women. If I become lethargic and adversity prevents me from setting the example, my subordinates will not assume additional responsibility or authority. He or she will display inexcusable behavior and inappropriate actions. Their dedication to duty in conjunction with the desire to excel in any endeavor will result in a failure to transcend in the military or as a civilian. Thus, their devotion to duty, confident of abilities, positive attitude and attention to detail will be unworthy of praises. Additionally, the significance of the commitment to faith and fellowship that have allowed their comrades-in-arms before them to wear the uniform with tremendous pride would be worthless.

My sailors are students and I am the teacher. If I become complacent and am unprepared to properly teach, Atlantic and Pacific Fleet Commanders and their shipboard and classroom sailors won't maintain a high state of readiness. Nor will they develop knowledge, skills and attitudes. He or she will be unprepared to perform the duties of the job to which they will be assigned. Thus, the division will suffer, the command will suffer, the Navy will suffer and the nation will suffer. They will fail to maintain the basic qualifications and their self-esteem and motivation will plunge into an abyss. The rate of unsuccessful sailors will set a record for underachievers the world has never seen. Additionally, the sailors will set low goals and objectives and fail to accomplish them. Without Chief Petty Officers, sailors won't reap the benefits of training, experience and wisdom.

No person is more professional than I, the Chief Petty Officer. If I appear to be self-centered, arrogant or unprofessional, I bring discredit upon myself, the command, the Navy and my country. My subordinates will not strive to be technically and tactfully proficient. Nor will they attack each job with zeal and enthusiasm. He or she will discontinue to accept responsibility of and accountability for his or her actions. Evaluating people based on personal worth will come to an end. I will loose the respect and confidence of officers, peers and subordinates. There will be no loyalty among those with whom I serve; seniors, peers and subordinates alike. No one will take initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. My integrity and moral courage will be compromised.

No person is more focused on the mission than I, the Chief Petty Officer. I realize that my number one priority is to accomplish the mission. If I lag and fail to focus on the mission through lack of effort, logic or foresight, junior officers will experience defeat by the enemy at every opportunity. Subordinates will be unable to devote the requisite time to develop their war-fighting skills. The entire crew will refuse to take an interest in the command and the Navy. The predicable results are poor morale, dismal operating conditions and a work environment replete with the threat of punishment at every instance of perceived misconduct. It is here where the greatest harm is done to a warship that is absolutely dependent upon the good faith and trust of all her members. Without Chief Petty Officers, the Navy can't go to war.

No one displays more leadership than I, the Chief Petty Officer. I am the ultimate leader of leaders. If I should stumble or fall as a leader, my subordinate's ability to continually prove themselves to be of exemplary character, strong morals and values, foster high morale, esprit de corps and a total winning attitude will fade into a state of unconsciousness. He or she will lack the capacity to set, pursue and accomplish goals in an organized manner and will be apprehensive to ask question when in doubt. That certain calling that bring people together, build relationships, share life experiences and provide encouragement and friendship will unfortunately, sink like the Titanic. That essential moral code of ethics, for the betterment of society in general, will be absent and deprive him or her of being a positive contributor to family, work, society and self.

I am an August Chief Petty Officer and because of this, more will be expected of me; more will be demanded of me. It is the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment the keep Chief Petty Officers steadfast in faith and encouraged to abide in our proper station amidst the storm of temptation, affliction and persecution. Chiefs are people who worries for their officers and subordinates, cries for their peers and communities and bleed for their country and her people. Officers and subordinates look up to me because I treat them with dignity and respect. Because they need a leader, I am here for them. Chief Petty Officers consistently display immense integrity. He or she is a team builder as well as a team player. When the Chief fails, the amount of destruction left in the wake is devastating and it effects all officers, peers, subordinates, the nation, her people and myself.