The CPO Creed is of greatest importance to a Chief Petty Officer. Since the inception of the Creed, CPOs have consistently reflected on these words, and in doing so ensured expectations remained aligned across the world-wide CPO Mess. The Creed is a living document and an ever evolving one as well. In the 1990s the CPO Creed was updated to reflect the changes in demographics that had occurred within the Navy over the previous 20 years. The Creed was amended to be more inclusive and better reflect how our values in the Navy and CPO Mess had evolved. Once again, the Creed has been updated, in order to sharpen the ideals contained within and emphasize its signiﬁcance in guiding CPOs every day. Initiation training, culminating with a “Capstone Event” is symbolic of the strength of the CPO; for strength is required to face daily challenges with grace and passion. Every day a CPO must earn his or her anchors by experience, performance, and testing; never forgetting–not even for a second–the incredible privilege it is towear the cloth of our nation and serve our Navy as Chief Petty Ofﬁcers. CPOs humbly face and conquer adversity by living ﬁrmly by the high ideals forged in the Creed–a compass guiding all CPOs to true north. The Creed beautifully and succinctly captures and aligns expectations of all who have the honor of calling themselves “Chief.”
During the course of initiation, you have been caused to humbly accept challenge and face adversity. This you have accomplished with rare good grace. Pointless as some of these challenges may have seemed, there were valid, time-honored reasons behind each pointed barb.
Your faith in the fellowship of Chief Petty Ofﬁcers was necessary to overcome these hurdles. The goal was to instill in you that trust is inherent with the donning of the uniform of a Chief. Our intent was to impress upon you that challenge is good; a great and necessary reality which cannot mar you – which, in fact, strengthens you.
In your future as a Chief Petty Ofﬁcer, you will be forced to endure adversity far beyond what has thus far been imposed upon you. You must face each challenge and adversity with the same dignity and good grace you have already demonstrated. By experience, by performance, and by testing, you have been advanced to Chief Petty Ofﬁcer. In the United States Navy – and only in the United States Navy – the rank of E7 carries with it unique responsibilities and privileges you are expected to fulﬁll and bound to observe.
Your entire way of life is changed. More will be expected of you; more will be demanded of you. Not because you are an E7, but because you are now a Chief Petty Ofﬁcer. You have not merely been promoted a paygrade, you have joined an exclusive fellowship and, as in all fellowships, you have a special responsibility to your comrades, even as they have a special responsibility to you. This is why we in the United States Navy may maintain with pride our feelings of accomplishment once we have attained the position of Chief Petty Ofﬁcer.
Your responsibilities and privileges do not appear in print. They have no ofﬁcial standing; they cannot be referred to by name, number, nor ﬁle. They have existed for over 100 years, because Chiefs before you have freely accepted responsibility beyond the call of printed assignment. Their actions and their performance demanded the respect of their seniors as well as their juniors.
It is required that you be the fountain of wisdom, the ambassador of good will, the authority in personal relations as well as in technical applications. “Ask the Chief” is a household phrase in and out of the Navy.
You are the Chief. The exalted position you have achieved – and the word exalted is used advisedly – exists because of the service, character, and performance of the Chiefs before you. It shall exist only as long as you and your fellow Chiefs maintain these standards.
It was our intention that you never forget this day. It was our intention to test you, to try you, and to accept you. Your performance has assured us that you will wear “the hat” with the same pride as your comrades in arms before you.
We take a deep and sincere pleasure in clasping your hand, and accepting you as a Chief Petty Ofﬁcer in the United States Navy.