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Friday, May 6, 2011

Chief Petty Officer 365

MCPON's message on CPO 365

In the Navy one of the biggest milestones that enlisted Sailors can achieve is putting on anchors, making the rank of Chief Petty Officer.  The six week period of transition from First Class Petty Officer to Chief Petty Officer is a highly guarded secret, but the over all concept of what it takes to be a Chief is not. Sustained superior performance is what being a Chief is all about.  The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy recognizes that Chiefs are not made in six weeks and a continuous, never ending cycle of training needs to be in place, this is where the CPO 365 program developed from. 
     The CPO 365 program is a three phase, year round training cycle. The first phase runs from mid September till the "Board Eligible" test results are released. The second phase is from board results to Chief selection results, and the third phase is what is commonly referred to as "Induction", it is the 6 week training to turn First classes into Chiefs.
     Phase one is the time to lay out the groundwork for what the following years CPO 365 will include. During this time the Chiefs will work with the First class Petty Officer's (FCPO) in different events such as training, team building, and general mentorship.It is the Command Master Chiefs(CMC) program and the CMC is ultimately responsible for the success of the program.
     Phase two begins when the results from the January CPO exam are released, usually in mid March, this phase builds on what was already established from phase one. The focus is on board eligible FCPOs and further preparing them for duty as a Chief. It is in this phase when commands will start a Chiefs in Training program (CIT).  CIT consists of small groups of FCPO's (8-12) and two/three Chiefs as mentors. The groups are tasked with different assignments to include community service to going thru a complete mock eval cycle, from drafting to ranking to debriefing. The idea of CIT is to train the FCPO's in concepts that Chiefs deal with on a daily basis and sharpen those skills in the FCPO's.
     The third phase is induction.  This is a time honored military tradition performed by the Chiefs mess. Think military excellence and fraternity brotherhood mixed into one. I am not a Chief and can not speak on what happens during these six weeks, but I hope to one day be able to say I am a initiated Chief Petty Officer.
     Chiefs in Training is an awesome teaching concept with great potential. Its three phases span the calendar year and offer FCPO's a glimpse of what to expect when they make Chief. What I have offered here is a brief overview.  I have attached a link to the message the MCPON sent out to the chiefs mess on how he expects the CPO 365 to run at each command. Check it out.

     MCPON's CPO365 message

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