Everything I ever learned about leadership I learned from a Chief Petty Officer

He didn’t have to say that. But he did.

Chief Petty Officers are the career enlisted professionals of the Navy since 1893. Their job is to get the job done, train their Sailors, and grow the junior officer assigned to them. Generally, they don’t have a college degree, but they have learned through experience how to deal with the people in their charge, and those assigned above them. In essence, they have learned leadership in the crucible of underway deployment, war, and the camaraderie only known as “shipmate”. They take pride in “knowing their people” and going the extra mile and taking care of their Sailors. They are truly the “backbone of the Navy”. One of their jobs is to teach and train the officer assigned to them in the fine art of leading these, well, kids. A good officer will observe their Chief and see how he deals with his people. A good Chief will make the officer pay attention.

John McCain was Navy royalty, as far as that goes. He was fortunate to have a good Chief find him early, it made him a better officer and man. He recognized this debt tonight and it shows his humility and leadership to acknowledge it. We are all the better for it.

FCCS(SW/AW) Jeff Weimer, USN

(Yes, I’m a Navy Chief Petty Officer)