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Chiefs of the Monterey Peninsula Welcome New CPOs to the Mess

01 February 2021

From Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Demian Ford

Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey and Naval Postgraduate School pinned three new chief petty officers (CPO) at the Naval Postgraduate School, Jan. 29.

“Chief Season is about introducing new chiefs to the Mess and to the values of the Mess,” shared Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Amos Hoover, a Navy military training instructor at IWTC Monterey. “We delve deeply into the Navy’s Core Values, Core Attributes, and our Guiding Principles. We explore what it means to be cognizant of and to employ the increased authority and inherited trust that come with the anchors. The crux of the season, however, is establishing the relationships that are the strength of the Mess. We are brothers and sisters, ready to help each other at a word, but also ready to hold each other accountable to a high standard.”

This year’s Chief Season has been different than most. Normally held in the months of August and September, delays in promotion selections due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts postponed this year’s results until the end of November. As a consequence, Chief Season took place throughout December and January. That’s not the only way season was affected. Navy policy and local regulations restricted the number of chiefs and selects that could be gathered in one place and restricted the type of contact they could have. This year’s planners had to make significant revisions to the script, scrapping some time-honored traditions, and perhaps beginning new ones.

“The job of making new chiefs is too important not to accomplish,” added Hover. “We’ve had to make changes this year, but being a chief is about getting things done, despite the obstacles.”

Despite those obstacles, the Monterey Peninsula chiefs had a successful season. Among other evolutions, the chiefs and selects conducted an extensive cleanup of a portion of the Monterey Peninsula Coastal Recreation Trail. They also refurbished and relocated a memorial to those lost in the 1969 shootdown of a U.S. Navy EC-121 on the Presidio of Monterey, and conducted a Pearl Harbor Day commemoration.

It’s not all fun and games, however. Those selected for chief are given significant tasking which they are rigorously held accountable for. The period of Chief Season means a lot of early mornings and late nights for both the selects and the chiefs running the show.

Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Thomas Bouwman, one of the leads for this year’s season said, “There is a significant amount of stress placed on the selects. Being a chief is itself stressful and is a burden that no one person can bear alone. Coming to realize your own limitations and humbling yourself to leverage the power of the greater Chief’s Mess is key to success during and after the season.”

Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Adam Shucard, IWTC Monterey’s senior enlisted leader, sums up Chief Season saying, “Chief Petty Officer’s Initiation is a time for leaders to come together, socially and professionally, and ensure that the standards from the past that made us great and vital to today’s Navy are instilled in the next generation of Naval senior NCOs. Since our official birth in 1893 and well beyond that into the past, senior enlisted leaders on Naval vessels were the glue that held the crew together and the lynchpin between the officers’ technical knowledge and the enlisted Sailors’ deck plate know how. Being a chief in Monterey is a profound experience, not just because the Navy’s Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) “A” School is here and we have a longstanding presence in Monterey, but because Naval leaders from centuries back have passed through these waters – from Junipero Serra and Sir Francis Drake to Commodore Sloat. The connection between Monterey and the U.S. Navy is longstanding and deep, and it reflects the connection between the chief petty officer and the Sailors we’re charged with preparing to fight.”

IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of foreign language and cryptologic technical training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

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