little me –
No. Not in real life if they value all they hold dear! But on the boards, a few do call me Chief Scott and a couple of dyslexics insist I’m Cheif. Which brings us to…
It is a time honored Navy tradition to “initiate” new chiefs. For those that request not to be initiated, they shall be doomed to be E-7s forever.
Hazings, initiations, rites of passage, whatever you wish to call them, have been around since there’ve been sailors. Though tamed somewhat in recent years, the Navy’s Chiefs’ Initiation is a vital part of “becoming” a chief. With it, you enter a new mindset, join an elite fraternity of shipmates, and shoulder a new set of responsibilities.
A few day after advancement results are published (usually late August), and those to be advanced identified, the chiefs’ mess for each command gathers to begin the process. Each chief select, or slug, is assigned a chief sponsor to guide him or her through the process. He acts as a mentor and guide.
Tasks are assigned to each slug individually which must be complete before Hell Night. These tasks include creating a charge book for each of the chiefs to sign, skits, fundraisers to finance the initiation and the like. Phrases must be memorized, songs sung, instructions quoted.
On the night of October 14, each slug kisses his or her spouse for the last time as a “blue shirt” and says good-bye. For the next 14 to 18 hours, various rituals will be performed to forge a camaraderie between the slugs. Though no one is hurt, these events test the mettle of each selectee.
On the morning of the 15th, each slug will present himself before a grand inquisition. The judge, the most senior CPO, will… well… judge him to be either be a fit sailor ready to become a chief, or in need of a bit more training.
After all slugs have passed the judgement, the party begins to welcome our new brothers and sisters.
An elaborate and suitably decorous ceremony introduces each chief selectee, dressed now in khaki for the first time, to the command. Each is then presented his or her lapel anchors and cover. Their spouses are then re-introduce to their respective chief.
This may sound odd. To some it may sound harsh. Still others will say it’s a waist of money.
Odd? Probably, but it serves a purpose. Harsh? It used to be, but it is still one of the fondest Navy memories I have. Waist of money? Chiefs raise all the money themselves. How we spend our chiefs’ fund is no one elses business.
Euty, it sounds from your your description that your pop was completing a task designed to get him in “dutch” with other chiefs. It is absolutely verboten to answer to “chief” until you’ve been initiated. To call yourself a chief in such a derogatory manner (chiefy) before initiation would draw harsh critisism and a special charge when he appeared before the judge (the infraction would be duly noted in his charge book).
A chief probably was testing him as to whether he would follow an order blindly, or stick up for fellow chiefs…
“Hey slug! Wear this sandwich board around the base!” orders the crusty old chief.
"Yes, most honorable chief,"dad responds… guilty of disgracing chiefs every where.
“No, most honorable chief,” dad responds… guilty of disobeying a chief’s order.
Either way he’d fail and haveto turn to another selectee for help or to a real chief for guidance.
You get it now?