Chief petty officers and first class petty officers from multiple commands across Hawaii gather for a lesson in Naval heritage atop the Makapu‘u Point trail. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Brian McNeal)

PEARL HARBOR - In the early morning hours of Jan. 27, on Oahu's Makapu'u Point, more than 300 chief petty officers and first class petty officers stationed across Hawaii gathered for a hike.

The two-mile journey provided the opportunity to develop camaraderie through exercise and is a part of CPO 365, a year-round training initiative that fosters team building and community service and demonstrates the expectations and accountability that come with donning the anchors of a chief petty officer.

"Events like today are especially important to do as a region," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate Jay Cherland, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet command master chief. "They give first class petty officers an opportunity to see what we do as a chiefs mess especially with communication. It's an occasion to network, to get out of your peer group and widen your pool of knowledge."

With eight commands represented, many of the Sailors carpooled or rideshared to further enhance the fellowship.

"The chief's mess came up with this idea and they are always engaging and supportive," said Yeoman 1st Class Gregory Joseph. "Even though we don't see each other on a daily basis, we can get together at an event like this and network, talk to different people and get new ideas. Plus, it's just fun."

Operations Specialist 1st Class Kathryn Richardson also enjoyed the time spent with fellow first class petty officers.

"This was a good opportunity to get together with fellow first classes in the CPO 365 program and experience this hike together," said Richardson. "The team-building events and being able to hear everyone's points of view are the most valuable parts of the course."

Once all the hikers reached the top of the point, the group took a team photo and paused to learn about local Navy heritage.

"Incorporating naval heritage with a hike helps bring to life what our predecessors would have seen on an average day at Makapu'u," said Chief Information Systems Technician Richard Rivera. "CPO 365 is building upon the ties between first class and chief petty officers that have been in place since back when the first chiefs were promoted. This program provides a common ground for all first class petty officers and re-invigorates the chief's mess. If you attend a CPO 365 training event, you will certainly learn something."