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Sailor too thin to make Chief

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WASHINGTON — Petty Officer 1st Class Kate O’Toole’s naval career hopes were dashed when the chief selection list came out last month, and her name was not on it.

“I just don’t get it,” O’Toole said. “I look great on paper: I aced the chief’s exam, I’ve deployed four times, I had letters of recommendation from two admirals, and I won the Marine Corps Marathon last year. Now what am I supposed to do?”

O’Toole’s rejection for promotion may be due in part to the fine print of the Navy enlisted promotion manual, which states, “All chiefs under six feet in height will weigh a minimum of 240 pounds; those over six feet will weight at least 260.”

Despite her stellar record and the availability of a body composition waiver, one member of the chief’s mess was not surprised. “Katie’s a great sailor, but she just doesn’t have the look of a chief, the gravitas, the girth. The sailors just wouldn’t respect her,” Master Chief Petty Officer Tom Onaka said.

When pressed to clarify his remarks, Onaka replied, “She’s just too thin and fit, okay? The chief’s mess has a long and hallowed history of being ‘large and in charge’ and leading by dictation, rather than by example. If we let Katie in, then people might actually expect all of us to fit in our summer whites and still be able to see our belt buckles.”

After a lengthy pause, during which he guzzled a Venti mocha frappachino with extra whipped cream, Onaka reflected, “Maybe if she put a little meat on her bones and stopped acting like a SEAL on steroids — ha ha, that’s redundant — we’d reconsider her.”

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7 Comments

  1. When I was just a recruit I had to fill out a “dream sheet” and on it there was a question. What rank do you want to attain while in the service. I put Petty Officer First Class. I was later called into the Master Chief’s office. He asked me if what I put down was true. I said it was. He asked me why I never wanted to attain the rank of Chief Petty Officer. I told him every Chief I knew was an asshole and I could never be an asshole. And also I intended to become an LDO and you only had to be an E-6 to apply. Well, I took the Chiefs exam 6 times. I was “capped” to E-5 and was Sailor of the year and nominated for a force recognition award and was always ranked in the top two of all E-6’s in my command. Only until I retired and went to have my service record copied for my personal records did I realize that damn piece of paper from 20 years ago was still in my service record.. BTW I did apply for LDO and was excepted as a LTJG but unfortunately I had been excepted into the Exceptional Family Program after I applied and because I had a handicapped dependent that was an automatic disqualification..

    • Enrollment in the EFM is not an automatic disqualification to the LDO program. On the other hand, using words like “excepted” instead of “accepted” in your LDO application may have been, as was your failure to review your service record annually and prior to every enlistment. Sounds like the system does a good job of selecting the best.

  2. This is for CPO, not CWO (or CMSgt for you non-military personnel). Though now that I think about it, it applies pretty well to Warrant Officers, too.

  3. Yeah- I didn’t make CW5 for almost the same reason. I don’t collect action figures. My CW4 office had a flag in it, a couple of plaques and that’s it. Nothing on my desk except for what I was working on and my pen.
    Not a single action figure, lead Orc miniature, light saber, or even a First Legion Foot Soldier.

    I put a plastic Tardis on my desk for my second look, but the CW5 said “It was too little, too late.” Especially since I didn’t even know the name of any Dr. Who besides Tony Baker.

    Damn it all- it’s Tom, isn’t it… He probably sent a secret DNP letter to the board.
    .

    • I’m reformed, erm, retired Army and a combat veteran.
      *I’d* have sent a DNP letter to the board.

      Although, upon reflection today, I’d have sent one for both of us. 😉

      • Ouch baby. Very ouch. Actually, I knew I was out of luck when I said at the WOPA meeting (held during PT times of course) that “Fantasy Football was AD&D for jocks”. I noticed a couple of the CW5’s make notes in their Chief Books.

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