10 Things That All Navy Chiefs Should Know

10 Things That All Navy Chiefs should Know

Effectively running and fighting a warship relies on bridging the gap between officers and enlisted personnel. It was from this need that the creation of the rank of Chief Petty Officer was born. The Chief Petty Officer as it is recognized today was officially established 1 April 1893. Armed with official recognition, Chiefs of the past went on to lay the foundation for their modern day counterparts.

1. The earliest known use of the title “Chief” dates back to 1776 when Jacob Wasbie, a cook’s mate, was pronounced “Chief Cook” aboard USS Alfred. The title was largely informal and was used to denote him as the foremost cook aboard the ship.

2. Since 1797, only two ratings for Chiefs that have remained in continuous use are Boatswain’s Mate and Gunner’s Mate.

3. On 21 March 1917, Loretta Walsh became the first woman Navy Petty Officer to be promoted to Chief as a Yeoman.

4. The advent of a rocker device was the first distinction and was originally borrowed from the Master-at-Arms rating and became official in 1894. The foul anchor cap device was approved in 1905, and collar devices became official in 1959.

5. By 1941, all Chief Petty Officers were authorized to wear khaki working uniforms. ALNAV 16 dated 21 February 1941, authorized khaki working uniforms for all Chiefs and Officers serving on all ships and shore stations.

6. There are approximately 30,000+ Chief, Senior Chief and Master Chiefs in the Navy.

7. The Chief Petty Officer’s pay-grade of E-7 is equivalent to a Gunnery Sergeant in the US Marine Corps, Sergeant First Class in the US Army, and a Master Sergeant in the US Air Force.

8. US Navy Chief Petty Officers are afforded more responsibility than any other enlisted rank branch in the world.

9. More than 50 Chiefs have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

10. On average, Sailors advance to Chief Petty Officer in about 13 years of active duty.


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