Local Author Helps Sailors Become Chief Petty Officers

Jul 29, 2014

With Naval Air Station Pensacola, Corry Station, and Whiting Field located in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, there are a number of young sailors who may be interested in the new book, The Ultimate Chief Petty Officer Guidebook: Tips, Tactics, and Techniques for Sailors Who are Serious about Becoming a Chief Petty Officer.

Credit Savas Beatie LLC

The book was written by Pensacola native and resident James C. Glass. Glass joined the U.S. Navy shortly after graduating from Escambia High School. After more than two decades, he achieved the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer, the highest enlisted rank in the Navy. He retired in 2009 as a Senior Chief Master-at-Arms.

Before retiring, Glass was encouraged by a colleague to write a book to help other sailors rise through the enlisted rank. It’s specifically aimed at those who want to make the jump from Petty Officer First Class (E-6) to Chief Petty Officer (E-7), which is a senior non-commissioned officer.

“What this book does is it kind of gives them a roadmap of what they need to do to try and achieve this,” says Glass.

He emphasizes that becoming a Chief Petty Officer is a process and something that should be prepared for. Glass says a great first step is to have a career development board, which is an assessment of where you are and can help to establish a path to follow for career goals. Additionally, he notes that First Class Petty Officers who are ready to seek advancement will take the Chief Petty Officer advancement test. If they pass, their record will go before a Chief Petty Officer selection board, which tends to look at the previous five years of a candidate’s career file. According to Glass, “It doesn’t necessarily mean they (board) will go back five years, but that’s five years you should really look at to make sure you’re very well polished.”

Key to the book is “The Wheel of Success,” which consists of ten distinct areas to focus on to become more competitive.

Those ten areas:

  1. Awards
  2. Collateral Duties
  3. Command Involvement
  4. Community Involvement
  5. Diversity
  6. Education
  7. Sailorization
  8. Warfare Qualifications
  9. Sustained Superior Performance
  10.  Proven Deckplate Leadership

In the book each of those areas is broken down into categories, which may have sub-categories. Additionally, each area is broken down into specifics as far as what sailors should look for and what they need to do to achieve.

Typically takes an average of 11 to12 years for sailors to rise through the ranks and be eligible to test to become a Chief Petty Officer. But, Glass reiterates that his book is all about the years of planning and preparation for this opportunity.

“Basically what they (sailors) want to do is prepare themselves so that when the time comes that they’re ready to take the test to be ‘board’ eligible and that their record to be looked at by the board,” he says.

WUWF’s review of The Ultimate Chief Petty Officer Guidebook comes at a time Glass refers to as ‘the season,’ which is the six-week training period for those select few were chosen after a successful board review.

Given that the book was published in 2013, it could be some time before he receives feedback on just how helpful it is.