Significance of the Navy Chief Petty Officer’s Anchor


Navy officers of the United States and service members have long accepted the senior enlisted community’s particular power to command, which connects these teams and is important to the achievement of Navy missions. Despite this, little has been published on the organization that makes the Chief Petty Officer’s cadre so essential to the Navy. This paper aims at detailing the Navy Chief Petty Officer (CPO) and the anchor that is an emblem of his true purpose. Naval forces play a key role in ensuring the security of a country and thus should be appreciated.

History of the Navy Anchorage

It is important to understand the history of the department of the US navy to comprehend what it stands for. The establishment of the United States naval department commenced on April 30th, 1798, under the directives of Congress (Sutcliffe, 2021). The department traces its origin to the Continental Navy, founded in 1775 by General George Washington (Sutcliffe, 2021). The sole purpose of the department’s formation was to protect the US colonies against British invasion. The American colonies depended heavily on privateers (private vessels allowed by the government to fight the enemy vessels) to disturb British cargo in the absence of a national force.

Long before the advent of the Continental fleet, the British dominated sea, threatening to impede colonial trade and destroy coastal communities. In international waters, United States Navy is the deadliest force (Warfield, 2019). The Navy’s responsibilities include managing, training, and equipping combat-ready naval forces good enough to win wars, deter aggression, and ensure maritime liberty (Warfield, 2019). Officers in the United States Navy are experts at operating practically every form of military weaponry in the country’s armament, from Humvees to military aircraft.

Key Components of the United States Navy

This describes the elements of the US navy, which ensure that it can take on the adversary anywhere on the globe. These components include the operational forces of the Navy, which had around 332,000 active-duty service personnel and roughly 104,000 Navy Reserve troops as of 2019 (Robinson, 2020). This component comprises the active member troops who are always ready to engage any assailant that surfaces. The other US naval element is the surface fleet, which includes containers of all shapes and sizes. Robinson (2020) notes that the Us Navy has a vessel for every aquatic military job, whether it is supporting infiltration or protection for special operations on inland rivers or confronting modern-day bandits on the open seas. This unit ensures that the navy is fully capacitated with the necessary equipment to protect the United States.

Naval Aviation Squadron is the third element that provides artillery and aid from the skies, in conjunction with surface and submarine warfare prowess. Chopper, combatant jets, surveillance, transit, freight planes, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) make up the Navy’s aviation force. This section of the navy forces ensures the aerial safety of the US and its citizens. Additionally, the development of “support” on the seashore element contains establishments that provide amenities for equipment and electronics repair. It is in this element that information and communication hubs are developed. Support on the seashore as an element contains training sites and ground for simulation software, fleet and plane repair, building, intelligence, and atmospheric support.

It also ensures the provision of large enough rooms for spare parts, fuel, and storage of weapons and ammunition, health and surgical centers, and air bases offer support to the operating troops (the fleet) (Robinson, 2020). The final naval element is the fleet of submarines. Submarines, often referred to as the “Silent Service,” have served in a variety of missions in both war and peace for over a century, including combat, surveillance, commandos infiltration, research, and nuclear arsenal (Robinson, 2020). Submarines allow the Navy to spring into action before the adversary is aware of their presence.

Ranks in the Navy

To be able to comprehend who a Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is, and what level of authority the rank possesses in the navy, it is important to outline the various ranks within the naval department. Scouten et al. (2017) pointed out that there are four distinct naval groups in the United States. These groups are classified according to the rank title and pay grade of the officers. The first group is the Enlisted sailor’s group which contains officers in subgroups E-1 to E-9 (Scouten et al., 2017). The second subcategory consists of Warrant Officers who rank from CWO-1 to CWO-5. The next segment is comprised of Commissioned Officers who rank from CO-1 through CO-5, and finally, the Admiral grades that rank from CO-6 to CO-10 (Scouten et al., 2017). All these subgroups work harmoniously to ensure that the military goal of the United States is met.

In subdividing the groups in the US Navy, the letters and numbers denote the officers’ rank and pay grade. It is vital to remember that rank signifies the level of employment obligations and leadership responsibilities, and it does not in any way resemble paygrade. The naval ranks can also be differentiated by observing the naval uniform, as it contains unique markings that only a naval-proficient person can understand. It is also important to note that the ranks are not permanent and that by continuing education, as well as command and specialty possibilities, a naval officer can be able to progress in the military career.

The NAVY Chief Petty Officer

This rank is the subject topic of this paper since we focus on the roles and anchorage associated with the Chief Petty Officer (CPO). In the US navy, a CPO is regarded as the Navy’s “ground level” command, as soldiers regard Chiefs in the same way as they consider other senior officers (Carter, 2021). A CPO ranks in the (E-7) category of the US Navy and U.S. Coast Guard (Carter, 2021). This rank is just above petty officer first class and below senior chief petty officer. The United States CPO rank was founded on April 1, 1893, by the United States Congress through the promotion of a Coast guard to the CPO position.

This rank is notably the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps’ final rate (Carter, 2021). The main role of a Chief Petty Officer is to use expertise to steer troops toward the Navy’s goal. The CPOs collaborate with the Division Officer to deal with personnel and equipment difficulties. Seeing that a CPO is the go-to person of the Navy, the role cannot be overlooked, as it is crucial in the operation of the US navy.

The NAVY CPO anchor

The navy Chief Petty Officer’s anchor is the symbol of the United States Navy’s Rank of Chief Petty Officer. This anchor has long been the Chief Petty Officer’s insignia (Saunders, 2018). In regards to the Chief Petty Officer, the CPO anchor represents the daily hardships and tribulations that the Chief Petty Officer must face. The anchor consists of a stretch of chain and the initials U.S.N. which are fastened to the Anchor. To the untrained eye, the anchor, chain, and initials simply denote a United States Navy Chief Petty Officer, but to someone with military knowledge, the symbols on the anchor have a much more profound and beautiful significance. The elements of the Chief Petty Officers anchor are outlined below.

The Initials U.S.N of the Chief Petty Officer’s Anchor

These three letters are engraved across the anchor and are initials to represent Unity, Service, and Navigation. Unity is represented by the letter “U,” which signifies cooperation, harmony, and consistency of objective and activity. In my understanding, the unity bit represents a collaboration between the officers, their duties, and means of achieving the set goals. Every time that a Chief Petty Officer glances at the anchor, they are reminded to foster cohesion amongst the officers and to ensure that every action they take, is in harmony with the military’s overall goal.

The letter “S” as mentioned previously, represents service. This refers to service to God and humanity in general. The letter “S” for service, encourages the Chief Petty Officers to be in service to God, their fellow human beings, and the Navy. The main task of any military task force is to serve the country by ensuring security and peace in the nation. The letter “S” serves as a reminder that these officers are not operating for their benefit but they are serving the interests of the country at large. It encourages efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of duties by the officers and it also helps them to focus on the greater good of service to humanity by being selfless.

Lastly, the letter “N” refers to Navigation, as mentioned earlier. The navigation part of the anchor encourages the Chief Petty Officers to stay on track so that they can walk upright. This helps keep the officers out of trouble that results from bending rules and using shortcuts to achieve set objectives. The Navigation element of the anchor guarantees that the officers stay on the right path in God’s eye and the eyes of men in their interactions with everyone. Navigation also guaranteed straightforward deals between the Chief Petty Officers and their fellow Officers.

The Strand of Chain in the Chief Petty Officer’s Anchor

The chain represents flexibility and informs the Chief Petty Officers of the chain of life which they create day by day, bit by bit, with Honour, Integrity, and Virtue. It urges them to create flexible but transparent lives which are not too entangled to affect their delivery of services. It is by their daily activities that they create their chain of life and predict what might happen in the future. For instance, a Chief Petty Officer who leads a righteous life is likely to have a transparent future with not many difficulties as opposed to a CPO who leads a dishonest life with unrighteous behaviors. The latter officer is likely to be haunted by the life decisions they make and this could later complicate the life of the officer and be contrary to what the chain stands for.

Significance of the Anchor in the CPO’s Authority Anchor

An anchor is a metallic object used to attach a vessel (ship, boat) to the ocean bottom in hopes of preventing it from wandering owing to wind or the ocean current. The presence of an anchor in the Chief Petty Office’s emblem of authority represents the chief himself as the tool that holds the other officers together. The anchor represents hope and splendor of being fulfilled as the chiefs are strong enough to hold people down even when the life storms come. The religious interpretation might even suggest that the anchor represents the golden or valuable anchorage by which the Chief Petty Officers must be sustained firmly in faith. This valuable anchorage inspires the officers to remain in their proper station in the middle of temptation, hardship, and tribulation.


A Chief Petty Officer of the United States navy is immeasurably valuable in connecting the navy troops and helping them focus on the overall goal. There is not enough information, however, that discusses why the CPO cadre is so essential to the US Navy. For this reason, it is important to address the CPO by first reflecting on the history of the Navy and the Chief Petty Officer which dates back to the 1770s. It is by so doing that one can fully comprehend what led to the formation of a CPO role and its functions to date. Additionally, the rank in which the CPO is found is also a useful piece of information in understanding what level of authority and responsibility the CPO has and that is represented by the anchorage.

Regarding the elements of the Chief Petty Officer’s anchor, it was evident that the CPO’s role was to Unite the people including other navy officers, Serve God and humanity, and Navigate through the challenges. The anchor also entailed a chain that reminded the CPOs of the chain of life that must be maintained through their actions. The anchor also represented the role of the CPO in firmly holding other officers down even in times of storm. For this reason, the role of a Chief Petty Officer in the US navy cannot be overstated, and it needs more appreciation.


Carter IV, L. M. (2021). Chief Petty Officers’ Leadership Behaviors as a Predictor of United States Navy Enlisted Sailors’ Organizational Commitment (Doctoral dissertation, Grand Canyon University). Web.

Robinson, C. D. (2020). The US Navy’s task forces: 1–199. Defense & Security Analysis, 36(1), 109-122. Web.

Saunders, M. T. (2018). A qualitative study of informal training and leadership views of navy chief petty officers (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University). Web.

Scouten, W. T., Mehalick, M. L., Yoder, E., McCoy, A., Brannock, T., & Riddle, M. S. (2017). The epidemiology of operation stress during Continuing Promise 2011: a humanitarian response and disaster relief mission aboard a US Navy hospital ship. Prehospital and disaster medicine, 32(4), 393-402.

Sutcliffe, B. (2021). Springboard to victory: great Yarmouth and the royal navy’s dominance in the North Sea and the baltic during the french wars 1793–1815: by D. Higgins, Phoenix Publications, 2020, £14.99 (pb), 236 pages, illustrations, bibliographies. Web.

Warfield, P. R. (2019). sounds to establish a corps: the origins of the united states marine band, 1798–1804. Eighteenth-Century Music, 16(2), 115-132. Web.

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