Chief Petty Officer (United States)
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Chief Petty Officer is the seventh enlisted rate (E-7) in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, just above Petty Officer First Class and below Senior Chief Petty Officer. The rate of Chief Petty Officer is that of a senior non-commissioned officer, and was established on 1 April 1893 for the United States Navy. The United States Congress first authorized the Coast Guard to use the promotion to Chief Petty Officer on 18 May 1920. Chief Petty Officer is also the final cadet rank in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
Chief Petty Officers serve a dual role as both technical experts and as leaders, with the emphasis being more on leadership as they progress through the CPO ranks. A recognized, collateral duty for all Chiefs is the training of newly commissioned Junior Officers. Like Petty Officers, every Chief has both a rate (rank) and rating (job, similar to an MOS in other branches). A Chief's full title is a combination of the two. Thus, a Chief Petty Officer who has the rating of Gunner's Mate would properly be called a Chief Gunner's Mate.
Each rating has an official abbreviation, such as QM for Quartermaster, BM for Boatswain's Mate, or FC for Fire Controlman. When combined with the petty officer level, this gives the shorthand for the chief's rank, such as BMC for Chief Boatswain's Mate. It is not uncommon practice to refer to the chief by this shorthand in all but the most formal correspondence (such as printing and inscription on awards). Mostly, though, they are simply called "Chief", regardless of their rating.
In the U.S. Navy, officers and Chiefs are often colloquially referred to as "khakis". In the past, commissioned officers and chief petty officers wore khaki-colored uniforms while onboard seagoing vessels, in direct contrast to petty officers and seamen, who were referred to as deckplate sailors, or blueshirts. However, since the early 2010s, the U.S. Navy has adopted a camouflage uniform which replaced the khaki-colored ones worn by commissioned officers and chief petty officers on board ships, and also adopted a service uniform for petty officers and seamen, consisting of a khaki shirt and black trousers. The latter has caused some dissent among some chief petty officers and naval officers as a result. In the Coast Guard, petty officers, chief petty officers, warrant officers, and commissioned officers all wear similar uniforms.
The United States Navy is distinct among the US' Armed Forces in that promotion to the paygrade of E-7 traditionally has involved a season of specialized activities known collectively as "initiation", "orientation", or most recently, "induction". The "induction season", as it was called, has been replaced by a program called CPO 365, a year-round program for Board-eligible Petty Officer First Classes. On January 7, 2013, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Michael D. Stevens announced, "Effective immediately, we're respectfully sun-downing the word 'induction', and in its place we'll use CPO 365 as the primary term," said Stevens. "I believe that induction is more about a moment in time, and CPO 365 and the development of our FCPOs to become CPOs is not about a moment in time. It's about a continuous time. This is something we're going to do every day, 365 days a year, and so we want to make sure the term we are using is matching what we are doing."
Unlike Petty Officer First Class and lower ranks, advancement to Chief Petty Officer not only carries requirements of time in service, superior evaluation scores, and specialty examinations, but also carries an added requirement of peer review. A Chief Petty Officer can only advance after review by a selection board of serving Senior and Master Chief Petty Officers, in effect "choosing their own" and conversely not choosing others.
Advancement into the Chief Petty Officer grades is the most significant promotion within the enlisted naval ranks. At the rank of Chief, the Sailor takes on more administrative duties. In the Navy, their uniform changes to reflect this change of duty, becoming identical to that of an officer's uniform except with different insignia. Sailors in the three Chief Petty Officer ranks also have conspicuous privileges such as separate dining and living areas. Any naval vessel of sufficient size has a room or rooms that are off-limits to anyone not a Chief (including officers) except by specific invitation (if one is invited to eat in the Chief's Mess, it is customary to eat everything on the plate no matter what condiments are added by members of the Chief's Mess to enhance one's dining experience). In Navy jargon, this room is called the Chief's Mess, or tongue in cheek, the "goat locker". In addition, a Chief Petty Officer, no matter how much he was on "first name" basis with other petty officers before promotion, is always addressed as "Chief" by subordinates and superiors.
Deckplate leaders 
In naval terminology, the deckplate can roughly refer to the deck ("flooring"), or the area of the deck of a ship or boat (submarine). It can also refer to the Chief Petty Officer leadership. The term deckplate leaders is a colloquial term referring to the senior enlisted personnel of the rank of Chief Petty Officer and higher. They are generally charged with keeping good order and discipline within the lower enlisted ranks.
Insignia and emblem 
The Chief Petty Officer's insignia is a perched eagle with spread wings (often, affectionately, referred to as a "crow") above three chevrons topped by a rocker. These are red, but if a Navy chief has at least 12 consecutive years of good conduct service in the armed forces, the chevrons and rocker may be worn in gold. A Coast Guard chief petty officer's sleeve insignia is always gold regardless of the conduct of service. In either case, the Chief's particular rating emblem is displayed below the crow, within the area bordered by the rocker and the uppermost chevron.
On the dress blue uniform (and variants such as mess whites), the insignia is worn on the left arm of the uniform blouse (or "suit coat" in civilian terminology). On all other uniforms, the insignia used is worn on the collar and has become universally accepted as the symbol of the Chief Petty Officer, which is a fouled (entwined in the anchor chain) gold anchor superimposed with the letters "USN" in silver in the Navy, or a silver shield in the Coast Guard.
The Navy Chief Petty Officer emblem is symbolized by a fouled anchor with the letters "USN" centered on the anchor. Officially the letters stand for United States Navy. According to naval tradition, the letters are symbolic of the following:
- Unity: to symbolize camaraderie of the fraternity.
- Service: to symbolize service to one's god, fellow man, and the Navy.
- Navigation: to symbolize true course before God and man.
The Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer emblem is symbolized by a fouled anchor with a shield superimposed on its shank. The anchor is emblematic of "The Chief" and represents stability and security. It serves to remind the Chief of their responsibility to keep those they serve safe from harm's way. The significance of the shield date to the days of the Revenue Cutter Service when Congress added the shield to the ensign of the Cutter Service to distinguish cutters from other naval vessels. The chain is symbolic of flexibility and strength and serves to remind the Chief that the chain of life is forged day-by-day, link-by-link. The chain also represents the reliance of one Chief Petty Officer on another to get the job done and reminds him not to be the weak link in the chain. The chain fouled around the anchor represents "the Sailor's disgrace" and serves to remind Chiefs that there may be times when circumstances are beyond their control in the performance of their duty, but a Chief must complete the task.
- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa Jr. (2007-03-30). "MCPON Reflects on 114 Years of Deckplate Leadership". Retrieved 2008-05-10. "...commemorating the establishment of the rank of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) in 1893."
- The Coast Guardsman's Manual, ninth ed.,George E. Krietemeyer, Naval Institute Press,2000, ISBN 1-55750-468-7
- The Chief Petty Officer's Guide, John Hagan and Jack Leahy. - Naval Institute Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59114-459-0
- "The Drawn Cutlass: New US Navy Enlisted Khaki Uniforms: My Opinion". Thedrawncutlass.blogspot.com. 2008-09-01. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- Sunday, March 5, 2006 (2006-03-05). "Navy Approves New Uniforms". Outsidethebeltway.com. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- The Chief Petty Officer's Guide / John Hagan and Jack Leahy. Naval Institute Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59114-459-0.
- "Welcome to the Goatlocker". Goatlocker.org. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- History of the Chief Petty Officer Grade US Navy
- The internets virtual Chief's Mess - Goatlocker.org
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