CPO Birthday01 April 1893 April 2004111 Years of Leadership
111 Years of Leadership
from CNO Admiral Frank B Kelso II on April 1, 1993In the United States Navy, the title "Chief Petty Officer" carries with it responsibilities and privileges no other armed force in the world grants enlisted people. These responsibilities and privileges exist because for 100 years, Chiefs have routinely sought out greater challenges and assumed more responsibility.
111 Years of Leadership
from CNO Admiral Frank B Kelso II on April 1, 1993The example set by Chiefs for the last century inspires our young men and women of today. Indeed what Americans see in our impressive young sailors is the tradition of devotion and dedication the first Chiefs established with their sacrifices and valor.
111 Years of Leadership
from CNO Admiral Frank B Kelso II on April 1, 1993In large measure they have not only ensured my success, but the success of every person who has served in our Navy. I encourage each of you to mark this significant anniversary with appropriate ceremonies to show our respect, admiration, and appreciation for those who have served our Navy as Chief Petty Officers.
111 Years of Leadership
from CNO Admiral Frank B Kelso II on April 1, 1993Their successors, today's Chief Petty Officers, are no less dedicated. They prove their worth every day and continue to meet great challenges and endure adversity to protect our nation's interests.
111 Years of Leadership
from CNO Admiral Frank B Kelso II on April 1, 1993Our challenge to Chief Petty Officers of the 21st Century is to reaffirm the commitment to faith and fellowship that have allowed their comrades-in-arms before them to wear "the hat" with tremendous pride.
The Fouled AnchorThe Fouled Anchor is the emblem of the Rate of Chief Petty Officer of the United States Navy. Attached to the Anchor is a length of chain and the letters U.S.N. To the novice, the anchor, chain and letters only identify a Chief Petty Officer of the United States Navy, but, to a Chief, these have a more noble and glorious meaning. The "U" stands for Unity, which reminds us of cooperation, maintaining harmony and continuity of purpose and action. The "S"stands for Service, which reminds us of service to our God, our fellow man and our Navy. The "N" stands for Navigation, which reminds us to keep ourselves on a true course so that we may walk upright before God and man in our transactions with all mankind, but especially with our fellow Chiefs. The Chain is symbolic of flexibility and reminds us of the chain of life that we forge day by day, link by link and may it be forged with Honor, Morality and Virtue. The Anchor is emblematic of the hope and glory of the fulfillment of all God's promises to our souls. The golden or precious Anchor by which we must be kept steadfast in faith and encouraged to abide in our proper station amidst the storm of temptation, affliction and persecution.
The First CHIEF During the Revolutionary War, Jacob Wasbie, a Cook's Mate serving on board the Alfred, one of the first Continental Navy warships, was promoted to "Chief Cook" On June 1, 1776. Chief Cook is construed to mean Cook or Ship's Cook which was the official rating title at that time. This is the earliest example of the use the term "Chief" located to date by the author.The Continental Navy established the foundation of relative grades and classifications that led to the ultimate establishment of the CPO grade
The Most Senior Rate?As one can determine from the foregoing evidence, Boatswain's Mates have not always been the senior rating in the Navy. However, if one tries to enlighten some of them they will usually get their danders up and argue until red in the face. Likewise, Aviation Machinist's Mates have not always been the senior rating within the Aviation Branch. From 1924 to 1933, and again from 1942 to 1948, the rating of Aviation Pilot topped the mechs as well as all other aviation ratings.
The Most Senior Rate?Navy Regulations of 1865, 1870, and 1876 fail to show Chief Boatswain's Mate and Chief Gunner's Mate as different rates or levels from Boatswain's Mate and Gunner's Mate respectively. It therefore follows that to justify calling the Chief Boatswain's Mate and the Chief Gunner's Mate additional rates one has to depend upon General Order 36 of May 16, 1864 (effective July 1, 1864), and Tables of Allowances for the 1870s which list them as rates or ratings along with Boatswain's Mate and Gunner's Mate. To answer the question of whether the Chief Boatswain's Mate, Chief Gunner's Mate, and Chief Quartermaster or Signal Quartermaster of the 1863-93 era were or were not actually Chief Petty Officers is elementary. They were not Chief Petty Officers due to the fact that the grade had not yet been created.
The Most Senior Rate?On January 1, 1884, when the new pay rates became effective, there existed the three aforementioned rates carrying the word Chief--Boatswain's Mate, Gunner's Mate, and Quartermaster--all paid $35.00 per month. Several other rates were paid higher amounts, ranging from $40.00 to $70.00 per month.
The Most Senior Rate?On April 1, 1893, two important steps were taken. First, the grade of Chief Petty Officer was established; secondly, most enlisted men received a pay raise. The question is often asked, "Who was the first Chief Petty Officer?" The answer is flatly: "There was no first Chief Petty Officer due to the fact that nearly all ratings carried as Petty Officers First Class from 1885 were automatically shifted to the Chief Petty Officer level." Exceptions were Schoolmasters, who stayed at first class; Ship's Writers, who stayed the same but expanded to include second and third class; and Carpenter's Mates, who had been carried as second class petty officers but were extended to include chief, first, second, and third classes. Therefore, the Chief Petty Officer grade on April 1, 1893, encompassed the nine rates shown in Table 2.
CPO Ratings as ofApril 1, 1893 by CWO-4 Lester B. Tucker, USN (Retired)
Seaman BranchChief Master-at-ArmsChief Boatswain's MateChief Quartermaster Chief Gunner's Mate
Artificer BranchChief MachinistChief Carpenter's Mate
Special BranchChief YeomanApothecary Band Masters
Senior & Master Chief...The pay grades of E-8 and E-9, Senior Chief and Master Chief, were created effective June 1, 1958, under a 1958 Amendment to the Career Compensation Act of 1949. Eligibility for promotion to E-8, the Senior Chief level, was restricted to Chiefs (Permanent Appointment) with a minimum of four years in grade and a total of ten years of service. For elevation from E- 7 to Master Chief, E-9, a minimum of six years service as a Chief Petty Officer with a total of 13 years service was required. The E-5 through E-9 levels included all ratings except Teleman and Printer which at the time were being phased out of the naval rating structure. People holding those ratings were absorbed or converted to Yeoman or Radioman from Teleman and primarily to Lithographer from Printer. Service-wide examinations for outstanding Chiefs were held on August 5, 1958, with the first promotions becoming effective on November 16, 1958. A few months later, a second group of Chiefs from the February 1959 exam inations were elevated to E-8 and E-9 effective on May 16, 1959. The names of the first two groups of selectees are listed in Bureau of Naval Personnel Notices 1430 of October 17, 1958, and May 20, 1959. It is noted that after the May 1959 elevations, promotions to E-9 were through Senior Chief only.
Compression of RatesOn July 1, 1965, compression of several ratings at the two top grades was enforced. Six new rating titles were created: Master Chief Steam PropulsionmanMaster Chief Aircraft MaintenancemanMaster Chief Avionics TechnicianMaster Chief Precision InstrumentmanMaster Chief ConstructionmanMaster Chief Equipmentman
Chief Medal of Honor RecipientsSpanish American War 1898 Bennett, James H., Chief Boatswain's Mate, USS Marblehead, Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898 Brady, George F., Chief Gunner's Mate, USS Winslow, Cardenas, Cuba, 11 May 1898 Cooney, Thomas C., Chief Machinist, USS Winslow, Cardenas, Cuba, 11 May 1898 Itrich, Franz A., Chief Carpenter's Mate, USS Petrel, Manila, P.I., 1 May 1898 Johnsen, Hans, Chief Machinist, USS Winslow, Cardenas, Cuba, 11 May 1898 Montague, Daniel, Chief Master-at-Arms, USS Merrimac, Santiago de Cuba, 2 Jun 1898 Sunquist, Axel, Chief Carpenter's Mate, USS Marblehead, Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898
Chief Medal of Honor Recipients1899 Shanahan, Patrick, Chief Boatswain's Mate, USS Alliance, 28 May 1899 Stokes, John, Chief Master-at-Arms, USS New York, off Jamaica, 31 Mar 1899 Boxer Rebellion 1900 Clancy, Joseph, Chief Boatswain's Mate, 13, 20, 21, and 22 Jun 1900 Hamberger, William F., Chief Carpenter's Mate, 13, 20, 21, and 22 Jun 1900 Petersen, Carl E., Chief Machinist, Peking, China, 28 Jun to 17 Aug 1900
Chief Medal of Honor Recipients1903-1910Bonney, Robert Earl, Chief Watertender, USS Hopkins, 14 Feb 1910 Clausey, John J., Chief Gunner's Mate, USS Bennington, 21 Jul 1905 Cox, Robert E., Chief Gunner's Mate, USS Missouri, 13 Apr 1904 Holtz, Aug, Chief Watertender, USS North Dakota, 8 Sep 1910 Johannessen, Johannes J., Chief Watertender, USS Iowa, 25 Jan 1905 Klein, Robert, Chief Carpenter's Mate, USS Raleigh, 25 Jan 1904 Monssen, Mons, Chief Gunner's Mate, USS Missouri, 13 Apr 1904 Reid, Patrick, Chief Watertender, USS North Dakota, 8 Sep 1910 Shacklette, William S., Hospital Steward, USS Bennington, 21 Jul 1905 Snyder, William E., Chief Electrician, USS Birmingham, 4 Jan 1910 Stanton, Thomas, Chief Machinist's Mate,