Phase Two of CPO 365 began Wednesday for 60 Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the capstone training for all chief selectees.
Capt. Craig Clapperton, TR’s commanding officer, announced to the crew, over the general announcement system, that chief selection results had been released. Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing One, and Destroyer Squadron Two leadership announced the chief selects within their commands and offered their congratulations. Clapperton finished off the list by announcing TR’s batch of selectees.
“I feel extremely happy, it’s overwhelming. I don’t think the news has settled in yet,” said Chief (select) Quartermaster Efrain Torres, one of TR’s own Sailors.
First class petty officers train all year in preparation for making chief in a program called CPO 365. They receive special emphasis in the form of mentoring and leadership training.
“Our role is to be engaged all year round,” said Senior Chief Quartermaster Carlos Lugo, Navigation department’s departmental leading chief petty officer. “The chief is always there training our reliefs, from the time you come in.”
CPO 365 is an opportunity for first class petty officers to work closely with chiefs to develop the leadership qualities necessary for inclusion in the Chief’s Mess. Phase One can last multiple cycles, but Phase Two only begins after selection, is more rigorous and is strictly for selectees.
“[During] Phase Two there’s a lot of tradition,” said Torres. “I don’t know too much of it, it’s kind of a sacred thing. I mean, I asked questions but not all questions are answered. I do know we learn about the heritage, and the mess.”
Chief selection is a momentous occasion in a Sailor’s career. The jump from first class to chief is substantial, no other branch of the armed services has a rank like chief petty officer.
“The chiefs train us to come together as a team,” said Torres. “The Chief’s Mess is a community that works [when they are] working together. That’s the basis, to come together and help each other out.”
Theodore Roosevelt is slated to host a ceremony for chief selectees to be pinned by their mentors Sept. 16.