More than 2,200 chief petty officers (CPO) and CPO selectees from commands throughout the San Diego area gathered yesterday for the 7th annual CPO Pride Day aboard the USS Midway Museum. The objective of CPO Pride Day is to partner with the city of San Diego and perform community relations projects to demonstrate the "anchor power" of Navy CPOs.
The location for the event has obvious significance for the CPOs. "We are proud to carry our partnership for the seventh year with the USS Midway Museum," Navy Region Southwest Region Command Master Chief David Chmielewski told Navy Compass.
Following the event on the Midway Museum, CPOs and selectees gathered at Balboa Park, a significant location, as well, because of its Navy history as the first basic training location in San Diego. Retired Force Master Chief Karen O'Conner, founder of CPO Pride Day, and retired Chief Aviation Machinist Mate Pete Bilicki addressed the CPO mess with motivational speeches.
Following the speeches, the CPOs broke into working groups and provided more than 10,000 hours of community service to more than 40 different projects. "As a chief petty officer you are considered the leader," Chmielewski said, according to Navy Compass "Your responsibility is to carry out the mission while maintaining the highest levels of standard. Today that is what we came together to do. Our mission was to give back to the San Diego community and train our future reliefs to lead by example."