Bill Flinn, ATCS(AW), USN(Ret)
U.S. Navy, 1976 - 1996


Senior Chief Petty Officer      Chief Petty Officer Wisdom and Humor   Senior Chief Petty Officer

[The Chief versus the E-7]    [The CPO Prayer]    [Rules and The Chief]    [CPO Retirement Creed]    [Mariner's Psalm]



The Navy Chief, versus The E-7:

The Chief The E-7
The Chief is always a part of the answer. The E-7 is always part of the problem.
The Chief always has a program. The E-7 always has an excuse.
The Chief says, "LET ME DO IT FOR YOU." The E-7 says "That's not my job."
The Chief sees an answer for every problem. The E-7 sees a problem for every answer.
The Chief sees a green near every sand trap. The E-7 sees a sand trap near every green.
The Chief says, "it may be difficult, but it's possible." The E-7 says, "it may be possible, but it's too difficult."
The Chief works harder then an E-7 and has more time. The E-7 is always "too busy" to do what is necessary.
The Chief makes COMMITMENTS! The E-7 makes Promises.


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The CPO Prayer:

Dear Lord,

So far today, God, I have lived my life as you would intend.  I haven't lost my temper.

So far I have not even grabbed the Chief's Mess Cook by the throat, like yesterday.   I have said nothing insulting or humiliating to any of the junior officers.  I haven't bitched about the coffee, the ship's schedule, the watch bill or last Saturday's Personnel Inspection.

I have told no lies...  I have not cheated at poker.  I have put no ship's tools in my personal toolbox.

In short God, I believe that so far today I have committed no grievous sins.   Thank you, God, for helping me to stay righteous so far. But Lord, it's almost 0600 and in a little while I'm going to roll out of my bunk and after that I think I will need a lot more help.


Author Unknown


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The Rules and The Chief:


1.  The Chief is always right.

2.  In the impossible hypothesis that a subordinate may be right, see rule #1.

3.  The Chief does not sleep...  He rests.

4.  The Chief is never late...  He is detained elsewhere.

5.  The Chief never leaves work...  His presence is required elsewhere.

6.  The Chief never reads the paper in the mess...  He studies.

7.  The Chief never goes on liberty with his juniors...  He conducts training sessions.

8.  Whomever confronts the Chief with an idea of his own, must leave with the Chief's idea.

9.  The Chief is always the Chief.  Even in his shower shoes.

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The CPO's Retirement Creed:

You have on this day, experienced that which comes to all of us who serve on active duty in "OUR NAVY."  I say "OUR NAVY," because your departure from active duty in no way terminates your relationship.

     By law and tradition, U.S. Navy Retirees are always on the rolls ever ready to lend their service when the need arises.  The respect that you earned as "The Chief" was based on the same attributes that you will now carry into retirement.   You should have no regrets.

     Do not view your retirement as an end of an era but rather as orders to a new and challenging assignment, to a form of independent duty.  Remember well that you have been, and will always be, an accepted member of the most exclusive of all fraternities - that of the U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officers.

     The active duty Chiefs salute you, your retired Chiefs welcome you.  We wish you the traditional "Fair Winds and Following Seas."


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The Mariner's 23rd Psalm:


The Lord is my pilot, I shall not go adrift;
He lighteth my passage across dark channels;
He steereth me through the deep waters,
He keepeth my log.

He guideth me by the evening star for my safety's sake.
Yes, though I sail mid the thunders and tempests of life,
I fear no peril, for Thou art with me,
Thy stars and heavens they comfort me.
The vastness of the sea upholds me.

Surely fair winds and safe harbors shall be found
All the days of my life;
And I shall dock secure forever.




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William P. Flinn
Fort Collins, Colorado