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NAPLES, Italy (Sept. 13, 2013) – Newly promoted Chief Petty Officers (CPO) stand at attention during the closing moments of a CPO pinning ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples. The ceremony honored more than 30 men and women promoted to rank of Chief Petty officer, having their anchors pinned by friends, family and their new peers in the CPO Mess. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey Hensley)
NAPLES, Italy (Sept. 13, 2013) – Newly promoted Chief Petty Officers (CPO) stand at attention during the closing moments of a CPO pinning ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples. The ceremony honored more than 30 men and women promoted to rank of Chief Petty officer, having their anchors pinned by friends, family and their new peers in the CPO Mess. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey Hensley)

Wicked Problem? Back to the Basics

The following excerpts are from a speech given at the chief petty officer pinning ceremony Sept. 13, 2013, by Adm. Bruce Clingan, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, commander, Allied Joint Force Command, Naples at Naval Support Activity, Naples. During his remarks, he highlighted the importance of the rank of chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy.

Good morning! I am delighted to be here with all of you today to celebrate a major career milestone for our prospective chief petty officers. It is a great day for them, for their families, their friends, their shipmates and for our Navy and our nation.

Newly promoted chief petty officers stand at attention during the closing moments of a CPO pinning ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples, Sept. 13, 2013. The ceremony honored more than 30 men and women promoted to rank of chief petty officer, having their anchors pinned by friends, family and their new peers in the CPO Mess. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey Hensley)
Newly promoted chief petty officers stand at attention during the closing moments of a CPO pinning ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples, Sept. 13, 2013. The ceremony honored more than 30 men and women promoted to rank of chief petty officer, having their anchors pinned by friends, family and their new peers in the CPO Mess. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey Hensley)

This event is nothing short of a transformational moment for every one of the exceptional Sailors standing proudly in front of you.

The chief petty officers here who have already donned dungarees and donned khakis know this transformation is more, much more than a uniform change.

It is the moment when these Sailors choose to pick up the unique mantle of leadership accorded a chief; to shoulder increased responsibility and authority and most importantly, to accept the solemn obligation to embody the confidence, employ the expertise and earn the trust that are the essence of the chief petty officer community.

I know that all of these prospective chief petty officers, having completed their “Season of Pride,” are ready to join the Chief’s Mess.  I also know each selectee appreciates that today is not the result of considerable personal effort alone; but also reflects the support and guidance rendered by family members and mentors from all walks of life.

I would like to express my personal appreciation to the mothers, fathers, spouses, children and friends alike who have inspired these selectees to continue serving and have enabled a level of commitment to the Navy that has led to this achievement.

I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the military leaders who taught and coached the selectees throughout their career, including the chief petty officers here, who have invested themselves in helping them through the “last tactical mile” to arrive at today’s ceremony.  I’m not sure who looks more exhausted, our cadre of mentors or the selectees.  Thank you chiefs for your sustained effort in this regard.

As I look at our selectees, I wonder what challenges these new chief petty officers will face.  The next couple of years is not very difficult to imagine.

Certainly, the volatility of the world is increasing in leaps and bounds and the consequences of potential events could be severe, but don’t lose sleep. When the world hands you a ‘wicked problem,’ focus on the basics:

  • Confidence – borne of technical, physical, emotional and spiritual readiness.
  • Effectiveness – stemming from the commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief Triad.
  • Strength – founded on work center, division, department and directorate Triads, in fact Triads are wherever a chief is assigned.
  • And Inspiration – inspiration ignited by the fact that leadership and courage really do matter.  Time, and time, and time again in history the outnumbered, outgunned force has been victorious against all odds because of leadership and courage.

This is a hallmark of our Chief Petty Officer Corps; and leadership and courage have been forged in our selectees.

When I contemplate the future, I say to the world “bring it, bring all ya got” because our selectees are confident, effective, strong and inspired.

Our selectees are ready to lead and have the courage to say “we do wicked.”

Chief petty officer selectees, we’re proud of you. Anchor up!

Congratulate the new chiefs by leaving a message below. 

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