HONOLULU, Hawaii -- U.S. Coast Guard consolidated chiefs mess participated in a meet and greet hosted by the Oahu U.S. Navy chiefs mess at the Beeman Center onboard Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 15.
This event is part of this year’s coast guard Chiefs Call To Initiation (CCTI), a voluntary process that mirrors that of the Navy’s Chief Petty Officer (CPO) initiation season following advancement to the paygrade of E7.
“A large part of the process is networking and increasing the people and knowledge at our reach,” said Coast Guard Senior Chief Operational Specialist Jason Bryant, this year’s lead coordinator for CCTI. “ Both of our chiefs mess’ have an immense variety of tools, skills, knowledge and resources at our hands, and when we bring that together we can accomplish a great many things. These things benefit ourselves, our people, our service branches and our Country.”
More than 30 Coast Guard CPOs, including 11 prospective candidates, from Oahu ship and shore units met with local Navy Chiefs. The event fostered mutual understanding in one another’s missions and presented an opportunity for networking, mentorship and sharing of ideas across the branches.
“Experiences like this build on a few things for new Chiefs, but especially networking,” said Sector Honolulu Command Master Chief Michael Winiarski. “This stresses the importance of networking and its value in addressing anything in life. No matter what challenges you have at your worksite, when you have a network established and can look to other resources and people, it can only benefit you.”
Representatives from each of the branches highlighted their initiation processes and acknowledged their benefits. Like the Navy’s CPO season, CCTI imparts lessons in balancing home and work life, pride in history and heritage, administrative basics, problem-solving skills and leadership strategies. The intent is to leverage existing leadership attributes, foster teamwork and commit to a common vision.
This meet and greet was yet another opportunity to learn about those things, this time with a different perspective from other service counterparts. There was an emphasis on the importance of leadership.
“Even though we are wearing separate uniforms, today shows us that our mission is the same.” said Navy Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Crystal Ingram, assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command. “It’s eye-opening to see that we all have the same perspective, and that is to develop our junior service members.”
The Coast Guardsmen have been participating in CCTI since February 28 and will conclude their training April 23.
CCTI is a traditional rites-of-passage process that is sanctioned by the branch's highest enlisted leader, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, just as the Navy CPO initiation season is sanctioned by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.
The Coast Guard CPOs also presented the Navy CPOs with a ceremonial cake in honor of the 129th Anniversary of the rank of the Chief.
Officially recognized April 1, 1893, the Navy was the first branch to establish the rank of CPO. The Coast Guard, whose rank structure closely follows that of the Navy, formally established the rank within their service on May 18, 1920 with General Order No. 43, Article 817.
Chiefs from both branches also took the opportunity to share the history of not only their rank, but that of their service’s heritage.
“It's about us knowing about each other and bridging that gap,” said Ingram. “We don't know where our future may lie. One day I may be shoulder to shoulder with a Coast Guardsman and knowing their history would make it easier.”