My uncle, a WW2 Flying Chief, died this past year. I am sure he would have a lot to say on this subject and nothing in support of the change. He often remarked he loved being in a position wherein he had the respect of both “his men” and those whom he served under.
Former CPO (HMC/FMF) who retired as a LCDR. Made Chief off the ‘87 selection board and was in the last initiation that really was a wild and crazy free-for-all. After that year, the Navy gradually began trying to “clean up” the initiation process, as the Master Chief in the article notes. I’ve seen this one coming for a loooong time. Ever since G.W. Bush made Mike Mullen CNO back in 2005, and then CJCS in 2007, the heat being put on the Navy Chief community has been building.
Mullen was no field operator, out there slinging lead in a rife company, but a surface warfare type. And fairly liberal to boot, plus a politician. CPOs that didn’t see him coming from over the horizon line missed a huge warning flare being shot into the air.
Now Navy Chiefs are what? Without the initiation and the process you go through to earn those anchors what’s to set the CPO apart from a Navy E6 or a SNCO in the other services? I spent many years on the “green side” (Marine Corps, as a Hospital Corpsman and then as a commissioned officer), and even over there “the Chief” was THE chief and everybody knew it. Now? Meh...
My Dad didn’t make Chief, but he was one proud Lieutenant wearing his Good Conduct Medal. I only made E4 and my oldest Son got out an E6.