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A selectee salutes as she takes her first steps as a chief petty officer during a CPO pinning ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 16.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua B. Young

New Chiefs pinned following the season of pride

16 Sep 2011 | Lance Cpl. Joshua B. Young

  Twenty-seven new Chief Petty Officers were pinned during a promotion ceremony following a six week induction process for selectees here, Sept. 16.

During the induction process, often referred to as the season of pride, the selectees learned how to do evaluations on junior enlisted Navy personnel, how to interact and communicate with their chain of command and how to manage their peers and subordinates.

“We teach them how to act as a chief,” said Chief Petty Officer Patrick K. McCormick, a religious program specialist, with 1st Marine Division. “We teach them the difference between thinking about themselves and thinking about their subordinates. It’s no longer about them, it’s about who they are taking care of.”

The selectees also go through a two-week isolated training process during the induction that is referred to as the academy. The academy is approximately 11 days long and teaches them the value of teamwork and how to constantly improve.

“We isolate them away from their family and their unit,” McCormick said. “Even in the most dire circumstances they’re able to overcome many obstacles and that is what we do as chiefs.”

The inductees go through a series of challenges that prepare them for situations they will face in the future.

 “There are physical and mental challenges,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jim E. Jones a Communications Chief with 4th Medical Battalion who is one of the selectees. “The biggest challenge for me as a Marine is humbling yourself to take constructive criticism from your peers, and in some cases chiefs that may be junior to me, in a way that I’m not accustomed to.”

One of the main concepts of the induction course imparted to selectees is that the learning process does not end with the ceremony, it continues for the rest of their careers.

“The good thing about the induction process is that it truly never ends,” McCormick said, who is a sponsor for one of the selectees. “You’re always learning, always developing and always maturing.”

The induction program can be a transformation process for the young chiefs who are undertaking new responsibilities and challenges that come along with their anchors.  “This group has really turned around,” McCormick said. “They were shy and unsure about themselves, but they quickly turned around and they are going to make really fine chiefs.”