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Editor’s note: MCPON’s standdown reignited debate over his changes to chief season. Hundreds of comments have been posted online, in many cases pitting retirees against active-duty sailors. A sampling of the responses, edited for clarity:
Hey, MCPON, if it worked long before you, it’s still going to work. Leave initiation alone, and stop playing the political games.
— Barry Cohen
I heard someone whined to his office because they were getting cussed at. What are you going to do when the [commanding officer/executive officer] are screaming at you because your stuff isn’t working and the ship has to get underway? So glad I retired.
— Laura Livingston
MCPON, I think you need to find an old Chief’s Creed and read it. It might help you understand what the true meaning of the [Chief Petty Officers’] Mess is about. Cuddling your so-called new chiefs just brings these problems.
— John T. Van Warrebey
WOW. Stellar behavior from the retired community. You’re all right. We are a bunch of PC, spineless chiefs with no clue, and we’d really appreciate if you’d come back and help us. We’re lost at sea without you, and the Navy was at its peak during your time. ... Of course, I could be wrong, and you could be spouting off garbage about your fellow chiefs, based on no facts and elitist BS. You do realize, of course, that the generations before you (whenever that may have been) said the same things about you. They just didn’t have the Internet to do it so publicly. I thought I was familiar with ALL of the versions of the CPO Creed. Which version mentions disparaging and degrading your Navy and your mess openly with no basis in fact? That may be one version I’m not familiar with.
— Tim McKinley
MCPON is a political office that will only be held by a politician. The idea of “everyone is a winner, let’s give every player a trophy” is quickly destroying the image of the mess.
— Todd Winfield
Someone must have suffered a strained earlobe or bruised ego.
— Shawn WardX
New time, and either get onboard or get lost. No matter how old you are, everyone was in an evolving Navy. Fighting change doesn’t help. Complaining doesn’t help. Supporting our MCPON’s guidance and showing a unified front does.
— Michael Clanton
Navy-wide standdown because of an “anonymous” report? There’s some leadership for ya.
— Mark Thomson
If you are not currently in the fight, then I just don’t know if you have the required situational awareness needed to see what MCPON and plenty of others see — that everything else ends up as a distraction.
— Christopher Blake
I predicted that this would happen when the very vague guidelines on the process were released by MCPON. His instructions to [command master chiefs] left a whole lot of room to interpretation. ... And, of course, they were written in such a way that the MCPON would be protected if there were to be any fallout. I feel sorry for the first CMC that gets canned for being set up to fail.
— Ken Platt
It’s a different Navy (and a different country) now than it was when many of you were selected for CPO. We, as a military, consistently have all eyes on us. If anyone ever messes up, it will reflect on us all. The public expects, in its military, what they wish all of society would be like. Is it realistic? Probably not, but these are the cards we have been dealt by society (who elects the politicians who ultimately give us our marching orders). We as a mess are still here, doing exactly as chiefs have always done, making things happen. We’ll get this year’s selectees up to speed just as every group in the past has done. It may be different than when you went through initiation, induction or transition, but as I pointed out, the military is not the same as it used to be.
— Josh Cinelli