Archive for RMC

The Final Inspection

The sailor stood and faced his God which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining just as brightly as his brass. “Step forward now, you sailor, how shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?” The sailor squared his shoulders and said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t, ’cause those of us who carry guns can’t always be a saint. I’ve had to work most Sundays and at times my talk was tough, and sometimes I’ve been violent because the world is awfully rough. I’ve never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear, and sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears. I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here, they never wanted me around except to calm their fears. If there’s a bunk for me in here, it needn’t be so grand, I never expected or had too much, so if you don’t, I’ll understand.” There was silence all around the throne where saints had often trod as the sailor waited quietly for the judgment of his God: “Step forward now, you sailor, you’ve borne your burdens well. Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets, you’ve done your time in Hell.”


Silent Professionals: History of the Rank of Chief Petty Officer

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Garas Defense Logistics Agency Public Affairs

– March 31, 2015

Effectively running and fighting a warship relies on bridging the gap between officers and enlisted personnel. It was from this need that the creation of the rank of chief petty officer was born.

Since the days of antiquity, highly skilled seamen have been prized for their knowledge and skill. As vessels grew more complex, duties began to split into different responsibilities, which evolved into a rating system that was first formally organized by the Royal Navy and later adopted by the U.S. Navy.

This system of rank and position aboard a ship traces its roots to English society. In his book “England’s Sea-Officers,” author Michael Lewis describes the creation of this system as a mix of two hierarchies, one of official ranks and a social divide between gentlemen and non-gentlemen.

According to “History of the Chief Petty Officer Grade,” by U.S. Navy Chief Warrant Officer 4 Lester B. Tucker, the earliest known use of the term dates back to 1776 when Jacob Wasbie, a cook’s mate, was pronounced “Chief Cook” aboard USS Alfred.

Although given the title, Tucker surmises that rather than hold any position of authority amongst the crew, it was to denote him as the foremost cook aboard the ship amongst his peers in his rating.

Perhaps the earliest formal attempt to create the rank of chief petty officer came in 1853. Jason M. Juergens, author of the “Chief Petty Officer Leadership Thesis,” wrote that as manning levels increased to accommodate a growing fleet, attempts to establish the precedence of petty officers under Navy regulations began.

Initially approved by the President, it was revoked a few months later by the attorney general, as only Congress could approve these regulations.

The rank of chief petty officer as it is recognized today was officially established April 1, 1893, and with the exception of schoolmasters, ships’ writers and carpenters’ mates, all petty officers of the first class were automatically shifted to the new rank in April 1895.

Ratings have come and gone to evolve with the modernization of the Navy, but chief petty officers have been used to head these ratings in official capacities since 1893. According to Tucker, only two ratings have remained in continuous use since 1797 – boatswain’s mate and gunner’s mate.

Armed with official recognition, chiefs of the past went on to lay the foundation for their modern day counterparts. As servant-leaders, they acted as the unique lynchpin between officers and enlisted personnel who executed daily operations, and also took a leading role in the career development of junior petty officers.

Additionally, chiefs were celebrated not only for their technical expertise, but their administrative abilities as well. Knowledge in the intricacies of the ship’s daily operations and ability to coordinate with various departments gave chiefs unique abilities that were unrivaled by even the most senior officers.

With this newly recognized position of authority and expertise they were bestowed with uniform devices to recognize their merit. At first, the only distinction was the advent of a rocker to their rating badge. According to Juergens, borrowing the master-at-arms rating that used three stripes, a single rocker was added and became official in 1894. The fouled anchor as a cap device was introduced in 1905; collar devices did not become an official part of the uniform until 1959.

Additionally, chiefs were given their own space on ships. Referred to as the “Chief’s Mess,” it is off-limits to anyone else (officer or enlisted) without invitation and is affectionately called the “Goat Locker.”

Up until the Second World War, chiefs evolved into disciplinarians that exercised and dispended a great deal of unwritten naval law. According to “The Role of the Chief Petty Officer in the Modern Navy” by Don A. Kelso, “they served as exacting supervisors, highly proficient specialists and acted as advocates to higher authority.”

After World War II, the demobilized Navy was left with a top-heavy organization that frequently utilized chiefs in billets normally filled by junior petty officers.

Kelso cites that this overflow of manpower, compounded with administrative overhauls to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which frowned upon negative enforcement of discipline, began to obscure the basic importance of the chief petty officer in the modern Navy.

The changes did not go unnoticed. As Kelso writes, both chief petty officers and commissioned officers recognized the dangers of reducing the vital role of chiefs from servant leaders to mere figureheads.

Efforts began to repurpose the mess to reflect the prewar role of the chief as leaders, specialists and the main liaison official between officers and the enlisted Sailor.

“The chief petty officer is responsible for three facets of leadership relative to the men placed in his charge,” Kelso writes. The effective discipline of their Sailors, the effective supervising of the work their Sailors perform, and finally, to act as an advocate for their Sailors’ best interests.

These repurposing efforts of the past have carried on reflecting the chief of today’s Navy. Chief petty officers fulfill a vital function in the operation of the Navy’s military and work schedule. Drawing on their past, they serve as technical experts, act as the liaison to commissioned officers and possess the ability to establish and maintain the conditions that provide Sailors with opportunities for success.

The ability to bridge the gap and provide solutions to both officers and enlisted personnel makes them not only silent professionals, but also ensures the old mantra, “ask the Chief,” shall remain a vital part of the Navy well into its future.




At the end of WWII, all the towns and cities across the country were looking for a “Hero” to celebrate America’s victory with.

Los Angeles chose Admiral Halsey and had a ceremony on the steps of the LA County courthouse to honor America’s hero and at the end of it when Admiral Halsey was leaving, they had a line of sideboys.

The sideboys were active duty and retired Chief Petty Officers that had been brought in from all over the country who had served with Admiral Halsey at one point in their careers.

Admiral Halsey approached one of the retired Chiefs, and they winked at each other.

Later on that evening at a reception for Admiral Halsey, one of the civilian guests at the event asked the Admiral about the wink he shared with the Chief.

Admiral Halsey explained,…….

“That man was my Chief when I was an Ensign, and no one before or after taught me as much about ships or men as he did. You civilians don’t understand. You go down to Long Beach and you see those battleships sitting there, and you think that they float on water, don’t you?”

The guest replied, “Yes, sir, I guess I do.”

To which Admiral Halsey stated,……

“You are wrong. They are carried to sea on the backs of those Chief Petty Officers.”

On the 8th Day!

On the 8th Day God created The Navy Chief – The Devil stood at attentioncponavy


I didn’t know this.. Did you? Have you ever been in a cemetery and saw coins laying on a tombstone? There is actually a reason behind it.

While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave.

These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America’s military, and these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.

A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier’s family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.

A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together, while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the solider when he was killed.

According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.

In the US, this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier’s family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war.

Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a “down payment” to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.

The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.


Old Salt

A crusty old battleship admiral died and found himself standing before Saint Peter at the pearly gates. Peter welcomed him warmly, “Come right in, Admiral! You’ve served your country well and you may enter Heaven!”
The admiral looked thru the gates and stepped up to Saint Peter, “Just one thing, sonny. I hope there’s no Chiefs here. They are the rudest, most obnoxious variety of human ever, and if there are any of them here, I’m not going in; I’d rather go to the other place.”
“Don’t worry, admiral,” said Saint Peter.
“No Chief has ever made it into Heaven.
You’ll find none of ‘em here.”
So, the admiral goes on into Heaven. Moments later, he comes upon an amazing sight. It is a swaggering figure in a khakis, garrison cap cocked slightly on his head, a mostly empty bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand, and a beautiful woman on either arm.
Incensed, the admiral rushes back to Saint Peter and gets in his face.”Hey! You said there were no Chiefs here!
So what the hell is THAT?!?”
“Don’t worry, admiral,” says Saint Peter gently. “That’s God. He just THINKS he’s a Chief

Where Have All Our Heroes Gone

Way back in the early 70′s Bill Anderson has a hit song called “Where Have All Our Heroes Gone “. Recently I listened to it again. What I find is that it still hold true today. I don’t see the kids of today have any real Heroes or even talk of any. I have included the Lyrics!

Where have all our heroes gone what’s come over our great land
America is still my home sweet home but where have all our heroes gone
I saw a group of boys the other day standing in the corner of a playground
Looking and laughin’ at a magazine

And I overheard one of the boys said man is he ever cool
And he pointed to the man who’s picture was on the magazine cover
And everybody kinda said under their breath yeah he’s cool alright
And I got sick to my stomach

Because I’d seen the cover and the man that they were talking about
Had instigated a riot in one of our major cities last summer
And the magazine was writing about how the police were unkind to him
The judges were not fair with him

And how he talked back and slung his long hair about and cussed
And did his things and they made him into a regular hero
And inside this magazine was the story of a baseball player
Who got involted with the gamblers

Of the football player who said that football was not the end
Just a mean to an end meanin’ the girls and the good times
And a story of a folk singer who proudly claims
To be both a member of a party ailen to our government and a nontax payin’ citizen

These young boys read with open eyes and open minds
And I thought to myself my God
Are these the people that these young boys look up to
Are these their idols are these the heroes of the now generation

(America is still my home sweet home but where have all our heroes gone)
I had heroes when I was a kid we all did and our heroes did their thing too
Like General Douglas McArthur who returned like he said he would
Like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers who chased the bad guys right off the screen

Like Lindberg who flew the ocean and Jesse Owens who showed Hitler
And John Wayne and Gerry Cooper after all didn’t they really win the war
And General Ike bless your soul cause he made us feel safe
We’ve killed some of our recent heroes the Kennedys and Kings

And even as great as their space feats are
How many of the astronauts can you name huh how many
My heroes were people like Joe DiMaggio who proved that nice guys can finish first
And Stan Musian who never had an unkind word for anybody

And Winston Churchill who’s two fingers raised together meant victory
Not just a let-your-enemy-have-it-all kind of artificial peace
This country needs a lotta things today friends
But it doesn’t need any one thing anymore than it needs some real heroes

Men who know what it means to be looked up to by a griny faced kid
Men who want to sign autograph books and not deal under the table
Men who are willing to play the game with the people who made them heroes
Men who don’t mind putting on a white hat and saying thank you and please

I wish I knew more men that I’d be proud of for my son to look up to and say
Daddy when I grow up I want to be just-like-him.

Old Chiefs

One thing we weren’t aware of at the time, but became evident as life wore on, was that we learned true leadership from the finest examples any young lad was ever given, Chief Petty Officers. They were crusty bastards who had done it all and had been forged into men who had been time tested over more years than a lot of us had time on the planet. The ones I remember wore hydraulic oil stained hats with scratched and dinged-up insignia, faded shirts, some with a Bull Durham tag dangling out of their right-hand shirt pocket or a pipe and tobacco reloads in a worn leather pouch in their hip pockets, and a Zippo that had been everywhere. Some of them came with tattoos on their forearms that would force them to keep their cuffs buttoned at a Methodist picnic. Most of them were as tough as a boarding house steak. A quality required surviving the life they lived. There were and always will be, a breed apart from all other residents of Mother Earth. They took eighteen-year-old idiots and hammered the stupid bastards into sailors. You knew instinctively it had to be hell on earth to have been born a Chief’s kid. God should have given all sons born to Chiefs a return option. A Chief didn’t have to command respect. He got it because there was nothing else you could give them. They were God’s designated hitters on earth. When they accepted you as their shipmate, it was the highest honor you would ever receive in your life. At least it was clearly that for me. They were not men given to the prerogatives of their position. You would find them with their sleeves rolled up, shoulder-to-shoulder with you in a stores loading party. When we ultimately get our final duty station assignments and we get to wherever the big CNO in the sky assigns us. If we are lucky, Marines will be guarding the streets. But there will be an old Chief in an oil-stained hat, a cigar stub clenched in his teeth and a coffee cup that looks like it contains oil, standing at the brow to assign us our bunks and tell us where to stow our gear. And we will all be young again and the damn coffee with float a rock. Life fixes it so that by the time a stupid kid grows old enough and smart enough to recognize who he should have thanked along the way, he no longer can. If I could, I would thank my old Chiefs. If you only knew what you succeeded in pounding in this thick skull, you would be amazed. So thanks you old casehardened, unsalvageable sons-of-bitches. Save me a rack in the berthing compartment!