Support our mission

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — There's a new book out there to help the Navy's chief petty officers.

The “Chief Petty Officer’s Guide” was written to serve as the venerable reference book that every chief will want on his or her bookshelf.

Author Jack Leahy and former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Hagan wrote the 600-page book, which includes everything from uniform regulations to the history and lore of the chief.

“It really is a book written by chiefs for chiefs,” said Leahy, a Navy veteran who also wrote, “Ask the Chief: Backbone of the Navy.”

The guide took three years to write, develop and research with the help of dozens of chiefs from around the fleet. The authors went aboard four ships, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, to research and get input.

Naval Institute Press published the book, which goes on sale this week as chief selectees go through the initiation tradition. It will be available at many Navy Exchange bookstores by the end of this month.

The “Chief Petty Officer’s Guide” is designed to guide chiefs in the same spirit as “The Bluejacket’s Manual,” which has helped enlisted sailors on Navy basics for decades.

“When I was [Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy], I lamented that we didn’t have a repository for CPO-specific references and issues and this has the potential to be that,” said Hagan, who served 33 years in the Navy, including six years as the Navy’s top master chief from 1992 to 1998.

The book focuses on four major skills, or what the Navy calls the Chief’s Core Competencies: leading, communicating, supporting and developing.

The first part serves more like a textbook, while the later portions of the book are designed to be a reference guide, Leahy said.

The final chapter zeroes in on the history of the chief petty officer and includes stories on some of the Medal of Honor recipients who were chiefs.

Hagan said he plans to continually update the guidebook so it is relevant to future chiefs.

“A hundred years from now I’d like to see a CPO guidebook that has the history and the credibility and respect of the Bluejacket’s Manual,” he said. “I think we’re in the first stages of us getting there.”


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up