As we stared at the screen, I asked nonchalantly, "Hey, what does that S mean?" referring to my profile sheet. Petty Officer Green just smiled, "That means you got selected." That statement immediately woke me up. "Are you serious?" I asked. He just ignored me because he walked out the office announcing it to everyone that was within earshot. Now as I sat with a big smile on my face, something just dawned on me. I have to go through initiation. I have heard horror stories about this process and even though some feel the Chief Petty Officer (CPO) initiation is a way for the genuine Chiefs' to have some fun and haze you, this should be a great learning process transitioning from "Blue Shirt to Khaki's" because it is supposed to make you think on your own and everyday you are learning something about leadership, tradition, and why it is a privilege to be a CPO. But the ultimate goals of the CPO initiation is to congratulate, welcome, inspire, improve, instill trust, while motivating the selectee while simultaneously teaching leadership, building spirit de corps, building teamwork, and occasionally having fun in the process. .
Some of the genuine chiefs that had a bad experience during the initiation in the recent years see this as payback and have some fun and haze you. So, after meeting with the CPO in charge, I and the other 98 selectees that decided to participate on Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana received our tasking for the next eight weeks in what is called the transition phase or the Rites of Passage. We then had to stand up and introduce ourselves to the entire NAS Oceana Chief community. You can hear a lot of cackling and threats from some of the chiefs, "I can't wait to get my hands on you" one Chief replied, "I am going to break you down" shouted another. From this day on, I knew it was going to be a very long eight weeks.