BREMERTON, WASH. — When it comes to a 119-year-old Navy tradition that turns sailors into chiefs, "CPO 365" is the new "induction."
Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Mike Stevens has ordered the end of the term "induction" in describing the now yearlong promotion process for chief petty officers, around 300 of whom ascended the rank this past year in the Navy region that encompasses the northwest.
Many of the traditions associated with the chief's promotion, including a pinning ceremony, will remain. But the name change pushes the process away from a one-time initiation more synonymous with hazing and into a monthslong transition with team-building activities acceptable in a modern Navy.
"This new guidance does not change the process' fundamental intent of molding First Class Petty Officers into Chiefs who will provide the leadership our Sailors demand and should expect," wrote Navy Chief Petty Officer Dale Davis, a spokesman for Navy Region Northwest.
"CPO 365" was first introduced in 2010 under former Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Rick West. Once a six-week process to train the new chiefs, it has grown into a year-round affair beginning in September.
"This is something we're going to do every day, 365 days a year, and so we want to make sure the term we are using is matching what we are doing," Stevens wrote in issuing the guidance.
Protocols for promotion activities include that alcohol is prohibited at any event involving interaction between chief petty officers and the aspiring first-class petty officers, no profanity is allowed and any "final test" before official promotion can begin no earlier than 6 a.m. and end by midnight.
No hazing is allowed, either.
"Hazing of any kind is not allowed," Davis wrote. "Hazing is not beneficial to the training in any way. It is contrary to the Navy Core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment, and is not tolerated anywhere, under any circumstances."
Heritage Training, which selects a slice of the new chiefs to work a special assignment, also will be unaffected, Davis said. This year's project saw the chiefs spend a week aboard the USS Turner Joy on Bremerton's waterfront, performing maintenance and improvement projects.
"This new process will allow us to provide training that challenges (first-class petty officers) both physically and intellectually in order to hone their leadership skills," Davis wrote, "so that they can lead the next generation of Sailors and carry on our legacy."