The below letter (linked here, though you need to be a Navy Times subscriber to view it), is sure to stick in the craw of the submarine CPO community. I'm not a CPO, but I'll assure you I couldn't disagree more with AFCM Moss' assessment. I think he's way, way off base.
A real mess on a sub
I am embarrassed for the chief petty officer community and especially [for] the CPO community in the silent service [“Admiral’s mast held for sailor in hazing case,” July 10].
I think that the nuclear Navy has a certain endemic problem with its chief petty officers in that they have no real chiefs’ mess from which to glean knowledge and leadership. The gold and blue crews are just that, and there is no goat locker where a chief can go to ask assistance from his fellow chiefs. The [chief of the boat] is not a mess president, he is a leading chief with the responsibility of caring for all ranks and rates onboard the vessel. He wears many hats, but not the one that is most important to the command structure — that of the president of the chiefs mess. Why? Because they do not have a CPO mess. There is no room, and most nuclear Navy types believe they can get leadership from a book. Case in point [is] the outgoing master chief petty officer of the Navy.
The nuclear Navy has a problem due to the close-knit relationships that must be developed and relied upon to get the job done. The old adage “Liberty expires at 0730” does not apply in most cases. Thereby, “familiarity breeds contempt” and the chief is just another one of the fellas.
I do not believe that a nuclear Navy submariner chief should be allowed to participate in the command master chief program until he has done at least one tour onboard a large surface combatant and is exposed to a real chief’s mess and understands his position in that mess. Leadership is a trait honed in the chief’s mess, and no book can give you the knowledge that a seasoned master chief can from his experiences alone.
AFCM (AW/NAC) Bill Moss (ret.)
Sorry, AFCM...I think you are WAY off base.
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