New Chief Petty Officers are Honed Through Selectee Training

The following blog was written by Master Chief (SW/AW) Kenneth Schmidt, Command Master Chief for Center for Personal and Professional Development


In late July just before the results of the FY-13 Active Duty Navy E-7 Selection Board results were announced, the Center for Personal and Professional Development released the Navy’s brand new Chief Petty Officer Selectee Leadership Course (CPOSLC). We’re very proud of this course because it gets to the heart of helping today’s selected first class petty officers prepare for the moment they walk through a workspace wearing their first set of anchors.

Anyone who’s made this significant transition remembers the moment of realization that being a chief isn’t simply a promotion – it’s an entire shift of thinking and doing. You have moved from being the one asking the questions to being the one who’s asked the questions – and expected to have the answers.

The proud history of chief petty officers stretches back more than 100 years, and our collective strength is deeply rooted in tradition and service to our nation and others; as well as in the steady trust and confidence we have in our brothers and sisters of the Chief’s Mess.

Our Navy has changed over the years, and so has the training we’ve provided the newest group of chief selectees to ready them for the demands and privilege of wearing the fouled anchors that symbolize experience and commitment. The new CPOSLC is our best effort at integrating lessons learned with input from across the fleet to create a training experience that provides selectees with the tools to lead with courage, respect and trust, and mentor future leaders to do the same.

This new course provides training on a series of duties, leadership themes and additional concepts that support and reinforce the vital duties of a CPO. The course has afforded the chief’s mess the ability to leverage our vast experience and deckplate leadership to add realism and relevancy to selectee leadership training. It includes group discussions, brainstorming activities, role plays, and a case study that requires selectees to draw from everything they learn throughout CPOSLC to resolve the issues presented in the study. In short, it introduces them to the multitude of challenges they will face as chiefs. But they also learn there is great strength in the diversity and camaraderie of the chief’s mess.

Chief Petty Officers across the fleet are currently dedicating themselves to preparing those who are about to join our mess. In the spirit of chiefs past and present, it is our honor to train and then serve alongside this next generation of Navy senior enlisted leaders.