Guest Blog By: MCCS (SW/AW) Mike Raney (retired)
It is a great day to be a Chief Petty Officer!
I am thankful that today, our United States Navy pauses to celebrate and recognize 123 years of Chief Petty Officers and our role in taking a commanding officer’s guidance and forging a well-trained, effective, and deployment-ready crew.
I wore the cloth of a Chief Petty Officer for 15 years. I was a Y2K Chief, initiated into the Mess aboard USS NASSAU (LHA 4). I didn’t announce my “chiefliness” with bumper stickers or wearing CPO Mess t-shirts on liberty. However, from September of 2000 until my retirement in August of 2015, I wore my khakis with pride. There wasn’t a day that I wasn’t thankful to be a Chief Petty Officer.
To every Sailor who has ever known the burden and pride of wearing CPO anchors, I hope today you renew your faith in the Mess and remember your commitment to lead the way for our Sailors and Navy. Leadership is the job of EVERY Sailor to make our Navy and Mess better.
This is a call to action – not just to members of the Chief’s Mess, but to every Sailor, junior officer, and senior and flag officer across the Fleet. To all who seek more, want better, and aspire for greatness, I challenge you…
…to LEAD. Leadership is very simple because it is all common sense. We are all leaders, regardless of rank, and it is our obligation to train and groom our people to take our place – as we are only in uniform for a finite time.
…to SET THE EXAMPLE. Strive to be the type of leader that you would want to follow. That means doing what is best for the group or getting the mission done correctly, regardless of the effect it has on you personally.
…to COMMUNICATE. Keep your people informed. Be a listener. Many of the best ideas come from within the organization and at the lower pay grades where all of the work is being done. The fresh perspectives, new ideas, and out of the box thinking of your Sailors will carry our Fleet into the future.
…to KNOW YOUR PEOPLE. Empower them. Require results, but allow mistakes.
…to ENCOURAGE TEAMWORK, PARTICIPATION, AND OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE. When it is time for accolades, step to the rear. Leaders don’t need our egos stroked, but our hard-working Sailors need to know they are appreciated.
…to be HUMBLE. There’s no place for bravado or narcissism in our Navy or Chief’s Mess. There is no need for chest thumping or showmanship. Let your positive actions speak for you!
To my fellow Chiefs, may we ALL – through personal example, good management, and moral responsibility – make a positive mark on OUR Navy and definitive influence on the lives of our Sailors.
Happy Birthday and Anchor Up!
MCCS (SW/AW) Mike Raney (retired)