The Chief Petty Officer (CPO) 365 program aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), is helping first class petty officers (FCPO) prepare for the next step in their careers to trade their crows for anchors.
The Navy-wide CPO 365 program is a year-round process that calls on chiefs to provide FCPOs guidance on what it takes to join their ranks.
“It allows current CPOs to pass on their knowledge and experience to help us succeed and eventually become a chief,” said Yeoman 1st Class (SW) Juan Palma, from El Paso, Texas. “I have picked up leadership tools to implement in everyday situations.”
Throughout the year, various subjects are covered such as career development boards, evaluations and awards writing, uniform and grooming standards, and equal opportunity.
Along with professional development, Boxer’s CPO 365 program includes weekly group physical training.
“The program prepares FCPOs for the responsibilities that come with wearing the anchors of a chief petty officer,” said Chief Information Systems Technician (SW/AW) Cesar Nunez, from Bronx, N.Y., one of Boxer’s CPO 365 coordinators. “The topics are intended to stimulate their critical thinking skills, increase their understanding of fundamental Navy programs, and most importantly, enhance their ability to make a positive impact on war fighting readiness and Sailors.”
CPO 365 consists of two phases. The first phase, which FCPOs are currently going through, begins every year on Sept. 17. All FCPO are encouraged to participate regardless if they are eligible for the chief selection board.
“My goal for CPO 365 is to train FCPO to be better deckplate leaders,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) (AW/SW) Omar Lee, from Jacksonville, Fla., Boxer’s primary CPO 365 coordinator. “In turn, FCPOs can better train their junior Sailors that eventually will be taking their place. We train today’s Sailors to become tomorrow’s leaders.”
The second phase begins as soon as the results for the chief petty officer selection boards are announced and is complete with the CPO pinning ceremony. Only the FCPOs selected for chief participate in the second phase.
“CPO 365 is a great program and all FCPOs should take advantage of the time and effort provided by our CPO leadership,” said Palma.
“CPO 365 has given me all the tools necessary to succeed and become a better leader. All I need to do now is put them to use.”