All chief petty officer initiation activities are suspended at Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest while investigators probe whether selectees were forced to do push-ups in a base housing backyard possibly strewn with dog feces, according to an incident report provided to Navy Times.
Labeled “CPO SEASON INCIDENT,” the report indicates that the alleged hazing occurred around 8 p.m. Sunday at a residence in Lake Stevens, Washington, about 10 miles east of Naval Station Everett.
No names are listed in the report, but the suspected offender is described as a male 38-year-old chief petty officer and one of his alleged victims is a male petty officer first class who is three years younger.
According to the incident report, four chief selectees were at the chief’s residence when he directed them into push-up positions “where dog feces may have been present.” The chief also allegedly slapped one of the selectees.
In the block for alcohol/drugs, the form reads “YES.”
“This was not a sanctioned CPO initiation event” and all of the command’s official initiation events “are suspended until further notice" while Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest investigates the allegations, the report indicates.
MCPON-issued CPO initiation guidance might never occur again.
In Coronado, California, Naval Surface Forces spokeswoman Lt. Patricia Kreuzberger confirmed that there’s an ongoing investigation into the alleged incident but said no suspects have been charged with a crime.
She said that when Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown— the commander of Naval Surface Forces — learned about the hazing allegations, he immediately suspended all initiation activities at Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest until further notice.
Kreuzberger said that the Washington command’s senior enlisted leaders briefed their chiefs on July 26 and July 30 that hazing was not acceptable during the CPO season.
“No service member in the Navy may engage in hazing or consent to acts of hazing being committed upon them,” she said.
Kreuzberger pointed all sailors to the guidance issued in May by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russ Smith and his fleet master chiefs, an instruction that was designed to prevent the boozy and abusive shenanigans that marred previous rites of passage into the Goat Locker.
MCPON’s directive holds each command’s senior enlisted leader responsible for what occurs during the initiation season and urges the mess to “actively enforce good order and discipline.”
It also warns that senior enlisted leaders "not following established guidelines will be removed and when necessary, held accountable.”
To Smith, the season’s infamous history of hazing had been “distilled out” of the mess and replaced with a “professional regimen” designed to prep a sailor “for the rigors of becoming a chief petty officer.”