CNP Reflects on CPO Mentoring, Leadership

Vice Adm. Bill Moran assumed the duties as the 57th chief of Naval Personnel Aug. 2. By sharing experiences and lesson learned from his travel around the fleet, the admiral seeks to create an ongoing dialogue with Sailors, Navy civilians, families and retirees. Feedback or personal sea stories that agree or take a different view of those shared by Moran are welcome and encouraged. Please use the comment section below.

Cmdr. John Nguyen, left, commanding officer of Navy Recruiting District Ohio, Navy Recruiting District Ohio Command Master Chief Aaron A. Shipley Jr., and Vice Adm. William F. "Bill" Moran, Chief of Naval Personnel, bow their heads in prayer during the invocation at Shipley's retirement ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus, Aug. 16, 2013. Shipley retired after 30 years of service and Moran was guest speaker during the ceremony. Shipley served as command master chief during Moran's tour as Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group. (U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Phillip D. James Jr./ Released

Cmdr. John Nguyen, left, commanding officer of Navy Recruiting District Ohio, Navy Recruiting District Ohio Command Master Chief Aaron A. Shipley Jr., and Vice Adm. William F. “Bill” Moran, Chief of Naval Personnel, bow their heads in prayer during the invocation at Shipley’s retirement ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus, Aug. 16, 2013. Shipley retired after 30 years of service and Moran was guest speaker during the ceremony. Shipley served as command master chief during Moran’s tour as Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group. (U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Phillip D. James Jr./ Released

Last week, I was out in Columbus, Ohio, to bid farewell to a great Sailor and fabulous Chief, Master Chief Aaron Shipley. He was my command master chief as a brand new one star in the fleet and, frankly, he taught me how to be a flag officer and a better leader. And, while I was there, I went over to observe and interact with seven of our newest chief selects. It was no surprise to me that Master Chief Shipley spent his final day in khakis with his Chief’s Mess working right up to the end imparting his outstanding leadership lessons on everyone there, including this old three star. He reminded all of us that our uniforms and our ranks do not define us; we define the uniform. And, he reminded us that

genuine service is best when accompanied by humility.

Shipley’s career was characterized by decisive leadership, unselfish duty, humility, grace, courage, honor and integrity. My hope for this next generation of chiefs is to ensure that these words don’t become catch phrases, but instead become real, tangible character traits of their own leadership style. Hundreds, if not thousands of Sailors have been touched and influenced by one great leader. Think about the opportunity you alone have to impact Sailors under your charge.

A big part of my job will be to travel around the world meeting with Sailors, civilians, families and retirees to share information, listen to feedback and take concerns back to the leadership and my staff in D.C.

My interaction with the chiefs and selects in Ohio was an important data point. As always, the CPO Mess asked great questions – many of which I took back for homework. But in general, we talked about CPO to sea policies, fleet manning, and training pipelines. It was a great afternoon away from the office and out of reach of a BlackBerry signal! The overall tone was very positive with many accolades attributed to the committed leadership and mentoring of chiefs just like Master Chief Shipley.

The trip to Naval Recruiting District Ohio was my first opportunity to hear from the entry point for many Sailors and to fulfill a commitment that I made a long time ago to a good friend and mentor.

As I continue to travel around the fleet, I will look for regular opportunities to share what I learn by highlighting interactions with the men and women that make our Navy great.

On this trip, however, I relearned (again) a lesson that was first taught to me as a junior officer; the Chief’s Mess is the backbone of our force, and the positive influence of one outstanding chief petty officer has the potential to shape many careers and even more lives.

Thanks for your time and attention. I look forward to seeing you in the fleet.