JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Chief Petty Officers and Chief Petty Officer Selectees from across Hawaii came together for the 8th annual Combat Rubber Raiding Craft Challenge hosted by Naval Special Warfare commands at the Pearl City Peninsula compound on Aug. 12, 2016.
The CRRC Challenge is a series of races between two CRRCs at a time in a double elimination tournament. This year’s competition began at 3:30 a.m. setting up and preparing for the 22 boat teams racing from just past colors at 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by award ceremony and clean-up. This team-building event, led by Chief Boatswain’s Mate Chris Haws, was designed to be more than just a display or athleticism. The CRRC Challenge’s purpose was to bring together current, retired, and future Chiefs from various Chief’s Messes across Oahu as a team during the second week of the six week CPO 365 Phase II.
“It was great to see the combine NSW Group Three CPO Mess’ and Selectees come together and kick start Oahu’s CPO Phase II events with the CRRC Challenge leading the way,” said Haws. “The event brought over 30 different commands and was a great opportunity to for CPO selectees to meet and greet with other messes which continues to strengthen bonds with the CPO MESS as a whole.”
Chiefs from NSW facilitated the event on the PCP compound and hosted 570 total participants, comprised of 127 Chief Selectees and 443 Genuine Chiefs. The Selectees were numbered off and divided into four to six person boat teams with a Chief in each boat to serve as the Boat Captain and motivator. Selectees had to come together as an effective team to achieve a common goal of paddling from the first buoy to a second, perform a “dump boat” drill in which the CRRC is flipped over, then righted and re-boarded, The CRRC is then paddled back to the starting line. The team to do this fastest wins the race.
“The CRRC Challenge solidified the team concept,” said Chief Select Lawrence Cano. “Know your people, identify strengths and shortfalls, and function into one cohesive unit dedicated to the mission success.”
All Chiefs present were involved in the mentoring process and team building that takes place during the CRRC Challenge, the first of the critical events for Hawaii based Chiefs and Chief Selects during CPO 365 Phase II.
CPO 365, which started in 2013, is the year long process of training and preparing 1st Class Petty Officers to become Chief Petty Officers. Throughout Phase I, FCPOs receive training to prepare for the advancement exam and possible screening of their service record by the selection board. If selected for advancement, they proceed from Phase I to Phase II, which is more intensive training designed around team building, heritage, time management, leadership, and physical fitness. The process culminates with the pinning ceremony and the donning of the esteemed title, anchors, and authority of a United States