Monday, August 17, 2009

What it means to ANCHOR UP !

This means get out from behind your computer, get out of the Chief Petty Officers' (CPO) Mess, and plant yourself firmly on the deck plates leading our Sailors. No one else can do it, not even that stellar first class who’s been doing a bang-up job as your leading petty officer.

Even a great first class petty officer should never be considered a suitable substitute for a CPO. When the job calls for a CPO, anchor up, Chief, and get the job done. Take that stellar first class petty officer with you, while you’re at it, and show her or him how it’s done.

Some argue that a CPO Academy would be more useful than CPO initiation (Season of Pride/ Transition) in developing Chiefs. But, based on personal experience, I think a better case can be made for Chiefs simply reasserting the role of their mess.

More than 30 years ago, I began my life as a Sailor being raised by Navy Chiefs. By most accounts, they did a good job. I would not have progressed from seaman recruit to captain without strong CPO leadership at every level—from my division Chiefs to my Command Master Chiefs. I needed course corrections at every paygrade.

Fortunately, there was always a strong CPO to provide the necessary guidance. I have 100 percent confidence that today’s CPOs are even better equipped to provide this guidance to our Sailors and junior officers.

From: Anchor Up, Chiefs! - Reset The Mess
USNI Proceedings
By: Captain Mike Lambert


A Navy Chief said...

With all do respect, leave it alone Capt. You are retired. Give it arrest.

Lamp Tramp said...

Dear Sir....Thank you so much for your positive comments to my beloved son-in-law and daughter. Words can not express the heartfelt thanks and emotions my husband and I have to people such as you. We are so gratefull to see that you reach out to all our young wounded warriors. Bless you and.... your comradades for your service in the time frame I grew up in. My thanks and prayers to you and your brothers....

navyaircrewman said...


I think your point is a valid addition to 'anchor up' I've heard a similar motto that implies the same spirit: "To be a deckplate leader, you have to be on the deckplates."

For 116 years the Chief has always provided that leadership for numerous reasons. First our responsibility is to the Sailors entrusted to us. Second, as my mentor put it, "You're not a real Chief until you've made one." We are entrusted to train our replacements and pass the traditions onto them. Last, we are entrusted to guide and train the junior officers, in much the same manner that you experienced and benefited from in your career.

Simply stated, there are many good Chiefs, Senior Chiefs and Master Chiefs out in the fleet. Leaders who were provided with great leadership as they came up through the ranks and are paying it forward to the next generations that will follow.

It's my humble opinion that many see some of the changes in uniforms or other cosmetic differences and see the Navy as becoming 'soft' or "Not the ‘real’ Navy". I think nothing could be farther from the truth. A Chief is a Chief no matter what uniform he/she wears (and even in their shower shoes). And the one constant that the Navy has always experienced: Change. That's why the generation before me might not completely relate with the way the Navy is today and I'm sure that I won't always agree with the generations after I'm gone. But the sound and solid leadership skills, traditions and values we've passed on are what are unchanging.

As a Chief in today's Navy, Captain I can assure you the traditions, mentoring and skills are being passed on to the Sailors on the deckplates. And it’s evident when you look at the performance of today's sailors at sea, in the desert or in the air. Stories like the USS Cole, or many in Afghanistan or Iraq illustrate how today's Sailors are capable, strong and committed as they always have been. That wasn’t by accident but rather reflects upon my brothers and sisters in the Chiefs' mess who have provided that leadership. Rest assured Captain, the Navy is in good hands.

- AWFC(NAC/AW) Dave "Genghis" Khan