Chief’s Corner – Biography Tips for First Class Petty Officers

BY CMDCM (SW/AW) THADDEUS T. WRIGHT AND HMC (FMF/SW) NIKEE MARTIN

Attention all First Class Petty Officers! We have a question for you. Do you know how important it is to have an up-to-date biography? There are actually several reasons why you should.

You may or may not be aware that writing a biography is one of the CPO 365 assignments in Phase II. We highly recommend that you don’t wait for the CPO 365 biography lesson before taking the initiative to start drafting your career narrative and familiarizing yourself with the process.

So often, Sailors wait until they are selected for Chief or an officer commission before they write their biography. Here are a few points of importance regarding a biography:

Focus on your military history in chronological order from basic training to the present. Summarize the training and duties you have completed, as well as your deployment history and status. Don’t forget about your civilian training and experience. Begin by writing your biography in third person and include:

  • Any personal awards and honors received. Also include qualifications received through training.
  • Military schooling received.
  • Rank ascension history.
  • Civilian education.

Include the following information at a minimum: Where you were born, where you completed basic training, sea/shore commands, warfare designations, current assignment and personal awards. Note: photograph may be required.

Presenting a chronological list of accomplishments is expected of us as senior leaders. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the contents of a biography now will help you when you become that chief petty officer who has to present a bio to your commanding officer and command master chief. As you progress up the ranks, your biography may be published on line where it will be viewed by thousands.

We often see biographies assist during the evaluation (brag sheet) or midterm counseling process. In addition, biographies are mandatory in Sailor of the Year packages, and they can be helpful within ‘special detailing programs’. Your knowledge in writing a bio can be instrumental in preparing yourself and your Sailors for success.

Presenting a biography to your mentor and divisional chief petty officer assists with your short-term and long-term career goals. We should always take advantage of sharing our goals with those that are able to support us in achieving such milestones, and a well-written biography plays a key role.

July/August 2017