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CPO Transition - Induction

CPO Initiation-Transition a Decade Later

Updated: January 8, 2017

The following was originally published on August 8, 2007.

My how time flies. I will be recalling the process for the first time from retirement. Weird.

It has been about 10 years now that becoming a CPO has moved from an “initiation” to a “transition/induction.” Here is a very brief look at some of the contrasts between then and now.

Now – After hearing of the list each CPO would make attempts to call each selectee and congratulate them.
Then – New slugs would call every CPO in the command to introduce themselves, the CPO would congratulate and share some small bit of advice.

Now – Attends indoctrination, assigned a book report and given clear expectations for the transition process.
Then – Slugs would attend indoctrination and get directions for developing their “charge” book, a list of songs to learn and proper responses for certain numbers called out by Chiefs.

Now – Run PT.
Then – “Host” a Bar-B-Que, and make beer runs.

Now – Attend training on core values.
Then – Attend CPO meeting as the entertainment.

Now – Assist your fellow selectees in finding the right tools for installing a sink while working with “Habitat for Humanity”.
Then – Panic because you have somehow misplaced your charge book that was chained to your neck.

Now – Deliver a verbal presentation of your book report and the lessons you have learned from the author.
Then – Put on a farm animal costume and respond to the echo “Number 1!” with “The Chief is always right!”

Now – Savor the flavor of a finely cooked prime rib.
Then – Place a frozen raw egg in your mouth while breathing in the essence of Limburger cheese.

Now – Get a good night sleep.
Then – Stay up most the night in stocks, a coffin or in the “waiting room” wondering what the guys were thinking who created Balut, Limburger cheese and “Truth Serum”.

Now – Don the Khaki uniform with pride.
Then – Don the Khaki uniform with pride after using a dust pan to scrape the chunks out of the bottom of the shower.

Then and now – Attend the ceremony of the pinning and the reading of the “Chief’s Creed”, wipe the tears brought on by the enormous pride, sense of accomplishment and belonging.

Having participated in both the Initiation and Transition/Induction process during my career, the process is only as good as the Mess. Shipmates, don’t miss opportunities to learn, teach and develop; our Navy and our country is counting on you.

To the class of 2008, I congratulate you! You will learn a lot about our Navy and yourself over the next few weeks. Carry the excitement and focus on learning throughout your career, your Sailors will be better for it.

10 Responses to “CPO Initiation-Transition a Decade Later”

  1. NavyTim says:

    Great post. As a selectee, I am looking forward to learning.

    I am also enjoying your site – would be interested in swapping links if you would like. Let me know. NavyTim

  2. NCCM(ret) says:

    Congrats to you and the entire class of 2009 on your selection to Chief Petty Officer! I hope others sound off in the comments as well.

  3. Andrew Acomb says:

    Great post! Things are changing, but it is still important not to completely forget the past.

    Congratulations to all the Selectees!

  4. Todd 'tojosan' Jordan says:

    Great read. I remember folks really dreading the chief’s initiation. We actually had one of our chief initiates end up in the hospital.

    Glad to hear though folks are still proud of the accomplishment.

  5. Larry Hensley says:

    I was initiated in Pensacola in 1982. Believe it or not, I was apprehensive about initiation but looking forward to it. I have to say, it was the more challenging and humbling experiences of my life and man was I proud. It was years later that I realized that I could walk into any Chief’s mess or Chief’s office in the world and feel perfectly welcome. I could strike up a conversation with any Chief or ask for assistance and know I had his or her full attention. Like “Cheers” it is good to go where everyone knows your name – Chief.

  6. Bruce Metzler says:

    Larry has it exactly right! Ours is a fellowship like no other. Need help? Ask the Chief. Need advice? Ask the Chief. Need professional guidance? Ask the Chief. Class of 2010 — you ARE the Chief. Congratulations and welcome.

  7. Ernie Gomez MMC/SS says:

    I would not have it any other way but the old fashion way, My son will join the ranks soon I hope. I plan to be there but I know it will not be the same. Great read.!!!!!

  8. bryan hill EOC SCW RET says:

    I agree with ernie that the old way is better. I have not been to the new transition but it sounds as though the anchors are just handed to them. I realize by being selected they earned the right but after intiation we all felt that we had earned the right to wear the anchors of a navy chief petty officer the same as those who came before us. I didn’t alway agree with everything that went on during initiation but I believe I was and am a better person from the lessons I learned during that time. I wouldn’t change a thing. Just goes to show that kinder gentler has finally won out. What’s next?
    just my two cents

  9. Val says:

    As a wife of a current selectee, I can assure you that the days of old nostalgia are not completely dead and those anchors are certainly not just being handed to my husband.

  10. Tom says:

    At our a large part of your “then’s” are still in effect with the exception of eggs, beer runs,Limburger cheese and charge books chained

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