BATH, Maine (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens spoke with first class petty officers and chief petty officers assigned to the guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Zumwalt (DDG 1000) during a CPO 365 training event.
The group of sixty Sailors chose "Quiet, Humble, Servant Leadership" as the theme for the day's training lesson and took notes as MCPON spoke.
"I believe chiefs are, or should be, quiet, humble, servant leaders," said Stevens. "Quiet does not mean we don't communicate; it is our Sailors we talk about, not ourselves. Humble does not mean hanging your head low, but means we let our actions speak louder than our words. And being a servant leader means that we recognize it is our Sailors, both junior and senior that we serve."
Before he concluded the training, MCPON opened the floor to any questions the Sailors had. He clarified why the Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) is becoming a requirement for senior chiefs to be eligible for master chief, stating that the Navy must provide top-notch leadership training in order to better prepare those Sailors to take on more challenging leadership roles.
"We must provide every senior chief with the opportunity to attend the SEA," said Stevens. "The Senior Enlisted Academy, just like CPO 365, is designed to help every senior leader excel."
Logistics Specialist 1st Class Jamie Osborne, from Jacksonville, Florida, talked about the unique opportunity of hearing from the Navy's senior enlisted leader. "It was really good to talk to MCPON, he is very personable and answered all our questions with great detail," said Osborne. "I liked his explanation about leading quietly. It doesn't mean leading silently but speaking more about the Sailors you lead."
Prior to the CPO 365 training, MCPON was given a tour of Zumwalt to see the progress of the ship's construction, met with command leadership and hosted an all-hands call with more than 100 crew members from the deck department, the Chiefs Mess and the ward room.
A first class petty officer asked MCPON if there are plans to include feedback from the board to Sailors who aren't selected for chief petty officer.
"There is no secret way to earning your anchors," said Stevens. "The board takes a hard look at each member's record and determines the best candidates based off their evaluations." He continued saying, "Making chief is about breaking out amongst your peers, having a good sea-shore rotation and ultimately having sustained superior performance."