Across the fleet, the U.S. Navy will welcome its newest Chief Petty Officers to the Chiefs Mess today. The Chief Petty Officer is not only known for having technical expertise in their selected rate (Navy specialty), but moreover for their leadership. They are mentors to young Sailors, junior officers and trusted advisors to senior officers. The United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Creed is read at every pinning ceremony and gives insights into the role and expectations of the new Chief Petty Officers as they enter the Chiefs Mess.    


To learn a little more about the Chiefs Mess, I had the chance to talk with David Dearie retired Command Master Chief and USAA employee.


Where were you when you learned you were selected? Were you at sea, on shore duty, how did you find out?

The year was 1996.  I was on shore duty at Naval Training Center San Diego.  I woke up that morning and with my dial-up modem logged into the Bupers online selection results bulletin board.  The selection list was posted.  I downloaded the list and saw my name.  I woke up wife and told her, then I called my command and I informed them!


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What was the day after pinning like? Can you share the moment you were recognized as a Chief?


The day after pinning my wife and I went to get our ID Cards updated.  Although other Sailors were waiting when we arrived, a young Blue Jacket jumped up and said, “Yes Chief, how can I help you?”  That’s when both my wife and I realized how humbling it is to be called Chief.


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What does the Chiefs Mess mean to you?


The CPO Mess is a bond among its members.  Chiefs are an elite group.  No other branch of the military sets apart the promotion from E6 to E7.  Everyone who wears or has worn the anchors of a Chief Petty Officer went through an initiation process that was humbling, rewarding, and significant.  As Chief’s we have an immediate cohesiveness and know that one Chief can ask another Chief for something even if they just met and the request will be executed if possible.  When someone wants something done in the Navy and wants to make sure it gets done, just ask the Chief.


What advice do you have for the Navy’s newest Chief Petty Officers?


Being selected for Chief is an underserved honor that comes with it the burden of responsibility to represent all your peers who did not and most likely will not promote to Chief.  Only 20% of E6/First Class Petty Officers earn the privilege to wear the anchors of a Navy Chief Petty Officer.  Your actions and leadership is not for you, it’s for all of the men and women you have the honor to represent and those who excelled and made you look good and led to your promotion.  Successful leadership is putting others first.


Congratulations to all the new Chief’s and to their families! #GoNavy #BeatArmy #WelcometotheMess #NavyChiefNavyPride #CPO


Did someone you know pin on anchors today? Share a congratulations shout out below!


Are you part of the Mess? Share how you found out you were selected!


About David Dearie:

Command Master Chief David Dearie, (U.S. Navy, retired), is a native of Carlsbad, CA., and retired from the Navy in 2015 after more than 30 years of service. Through the years he promoted from Radioman Seaman to the rank and position of Navy Region Southwest Command Master Chief.  In his career, he served on nine ships, five shore commands, and overseas in Japan and Hawaii.  Upon retirement David joined USAA Military Affairs, West Region Southern California, where he continues to advocate and educate military members and families on USAA’s commitment to be the financial provider of choice to the military community.


Related Story:

History of the Navy Chief Petty Officer