In the 1950s, the only career advancement options for Sailors who had reached the rank of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) were to leave the ranks of the enlisted and become either a Chief Warrant Officer or a Limited Duty Officer. But the passage of the Military Pay Act of 1958, which established the new rates of Senior and Master CPO, gave these longtime veterans some much-needed incentive to stay in the service and pass their invaluable knowledge and experience on to up-and-coming CPOs.

Unbeknownst to the CPOs who were elevated to the newly created E8 and E9 rates, an even more prestigious career milestone—unique, in fact—would soon be introduced.

As the result of a Navy study that caused many at the upper echelons of command to realize that the concerns and needs of enlisted Sailors were not making their way to decision-making level, the position of Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Navy was established. January 13, 1967 marked the date that Delbert Black, a Master Chief Gunner’s Mate, was tapped as the first to serve in the new role. A few months later, the position was redesignated Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.

Although it is slotted at the same E9 paygrade as Master Chief Petty Officers, this one-of-a-kind designation is clearly the pinnacle of achievement for enlisted Sailors.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.