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WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A message from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy:

Fellow Chief Petty Officers,
On April 1st, the U.S. Navy Chief's mess will celebrate 120 years of the United States Chief Petty Officer. We are not only celebrating another year of chiefs serving the Navy; we are celebrating everything it means to be the Chief.

Our anchors are the symbol of a culture and a way of life. Since 1893, chiefs have been charged with the responsibility of leading sailors to be the best in the world, ready to carry out our navy's mission when the nation calls.

We welcome that responsibility and lead with honor, courage, and commitment. As chiefs, it's important to remember that we must be "all in," "all the time" because being a chief petty officer is not for the weak of heart or lazy of mind and body.

Happy birthday shipmates! I truly appreciate your leadership and the hard work you do every day.

Very Respectfully,
MCPON (AW/NAC) Mike D. Stevens 


Tomorrow the 18th of May 2016 will mark the “96th” year that the Chief Petty Officers will be in the Coast Guard.

The rich Nautical origin of the CPO can be traced back to the first of April 1893 when the Navy created the rank of CPO. Earlier use of the Title “CHIEF” dates back to 1865 during the Civil War era. At that time, cooks were promoted to “CHIEF COOK” (meaning the highest in ranking of authority).

In 1915, the merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Life Saving Service into the modern Coast Guard brought about many changes. When the “SURFMAN” of the Life Saving Service and the “PETTY OFFICER” of the Revenue Cutter Service clashed over who was in charge, the Coast Guard realized there was a need to establish a position of higher authority, the “CHIEF” then secured a permanent place in the chain of command.

On May 18th 1920 the 66th congress officially approved and established the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer grade. They also adopted the Navy’s rate structure and its Chiefs inherited equal status with their Navy counterparts. The Chief captured a place in the Coast Guard History.

The first uniforms of the Chief appeared in the 1922 Coast Guard uniform Regulations and were similar in design to the Navy’s with a Coast Guard mark, a SHIELD one inch in height on the right arm midway between the wrist and elbow.

The trade mark of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer, THE ANCHOR” was inherited from the Revenue Cutter Service. The Fouled Anchor with a Shield superimposed to its shank (the emblem of the the Officers of the Revenue Cutter Service) is still worn on the shoulder boards of the Coast Guard Flag Officers.


The CHIEF wears the “SYMBOL of AUTHORITY” on the hat, the “ANCHOR”, display it with “Pride and Dignity”





Yours in Service

BMCS Jack Crowley USCG Retired

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