NEWS | March 30, 2021

Reserve Force Celebrates 128th Birthday of the Chief

By Master Chief Petty Officer (FMF/SW) Chris Kotz

A graphic for Force Master Chief Kotz's message to the force.
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | 210618-N-IC246-0005 A graphic for Force Master Chief Kotz's message to the force.

Fellow shipmates, for 128 years, Navy commanders have depended upon those within the Chiefs Mess for expertise in both leadership and operations. This holds true now more than ever.   

The position of chief petty officer as we know it, was officially established April 1, 1893, when the rank “petty officer first class” was shifted to “chief petty officer.” Today, there are more than 30,000 chief petty officers, senior chief petty officers, and master chief petty officers in the Navy. Chiefs are recognized for exemplary technical expertise within their rating, superior administrative skills and strong leadership ability.  

Every chief petty officer is a leader first and foremost. We are all constantly learning and growing as leaders; there shouldn't be a doubt in anyone's mind on whether leadership is important to a chief petty officer. Our core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment are fundamental to who we are, and how we should conduct ourselves, at all times.

The most important function of a chief is taking care of our enlisted personnel (groom them for career success), our junior officers (prepare them to lead enlisted personnel), and our senior officers (provide counsel). What I want to make clear is that this applies not only to the expertise you have within your rate, but also within your rating. I need you to build not only great Sailors, both officer and enlisted, but also great warfighters.   

As members of the Mess, we owe our Sailors and the Navy Reserve nothing less than excellence in leadership and mission expertise. One team, serving others, leading the way. The Mess is not who you are or the insignia that you wear, it’s about what you do, the actions you take every day, to make our Navy the best Navy the world has ever known.  

Lastly, after 30 years of service, if you only take one key lesson-learned from me, here it is. Without an effective Chiefs Mess, a command cannot succeed. With an effective Chiefs Mess, a command cannot fail.

Happy Birthday my fellow Chiefs! Hooyah! 

Master Chief Petty Officer (FMF/SW) Chris Kotz
Force Master Chief
Commander, Navy Reserve Force