October 20, 2014
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.