By: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Blees, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (NNS) – More than 70 Chief petty officers (CPO) and CPO selects from commands in Navy Region Northwest volunteered to participate in a community relations project at the Washington Veterans Home (WVH) in Port Orchard, Wash., Sept. 9.
The selectees, Sailors participating in Phase II of CPO 365, helped the WVH staff with clean up around the facility by raking leaves, pulling weeds and trimming bushes.
“To get out here with the veterans and have these guys who are transitioning from First Class Petty Officers to Chiefs and leaders stand in the shoes of the guys who have done it, hear their stories, and hear some of the heritage that they have is important,” said Chief Electricians Mate Travis Fox, assigned to Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) gold crew. “The transition from First Class Petty Officer to Chief is about the service and knowing that getting the job done is more important than getting recognition for it.”
The WVH was constructed in 1910 on a 31-acre bluff overseeing the Puget Sound. Today, the WVH serves more than 200 residents.
“It feels good to be able to give back to those who served us in the past,” said Chief (select) Missile Technician Rick Hurtado, assigned to Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737). “I’ve learned that working as a team is essential if you want to accomplish the mission.”
According to Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens’ 2013-2014 CPO 365 Guidance, CPO 365 provides all First Class Petty Officers with the opportunity for consistent year-round professional development, and CPO 365 is consequential career development to produce new CPOs through challenging, but controlled, mental and physical activities.
“They get the chance to meet and talk to some of the Chiefs who came before us, and just giving back to those who have done it before us and need it now is so important,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Keith Davis, assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton. “I think the biggest thing to take away from all the training is the brotherhood of being a Chief and the camaraderie that we have and that we instill in them.”
Chief selects across the Navy will be pinned on Sept. 16.