First Class Petty Officers The First Deckplate Leaders

First Class Petty Officer

GULF OF OMAN (Nov. 23, 2008) Chief Machinist’s Mate William Garnett sews the first class petty officer crow onto newly frocked Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Nicholas Dover’s arm after a frocking ceremony aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Theodore Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 are on deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Suits/Released)

First Class Petty Officers: The First Deckplate Leaders. Throughout Naval History the Ship’s Masters and Captains have relied heavily upon their “Mates” to accomplish many tasks and keep the Fleet afloat. However formal distinction of a Petty Officer didn’t come to be until the 18th Century within the US Navy, even then the Captain would appoint a Sailor as a Petty Officer for a particular voyage or “hitch” upon return to port the Captain would often muster them out of service if they were not needed any longer, or convince them to sign up again.

The Eagle Has Landed!

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According to the Naval Historical and Heritage Command In 1841, Navy Petty Officers received their first rank insignia — an eagle perched on an anchor. Ratings — job skills — were incorporated into the insignia in 1866. In 1885, the Navy designated three classes of Petty Officers — First, Second and Third. They added chevrons to designate the new ranks. The rank of Chief Petty Officer was established in 1893.

Bruno Gaido Midway First Class Petty Officers

First Class Petty Officers: The First Deckplate Leaders

FCPO Bruno Gaido, hero of the Battle of Midway

“First Class Petty Officers: The First Deckplate Leaders!”

Your Military Left

Until 1949 rating badges were worn on either the left or right sleeve.  From 1833 to 1885 Petty Officers of the Line (Seaman Branch) wore the Petty Officer Device on the right sleeve, and all others on the left sleeve except officers’ stewards.  Petty Officers of the Line (Seaman Branch) included deck ratings of Boatswains mate,  Signalman and Quartermaster, and ordnance ratings of turret captain, gunners mate, fire controlman, mineman and torpedoman.  From 1885 to 1913 the rating badge was worn according to the watch. The port section wore their badges on the left arm. From 1913 to 1949 the rating badge was again worn on the right by the Seaman Branch and the left for all others.

First Class Petty Officers Coin

The eagle on the Petty Officer rating badge is derived from the Napoleonic eagle. This eagle was usually embroidered facing left. Why the Napoleonic eagle faces left is unknown.  In 1941, the Navy changed the eagle’s facing direction to follow the heraldic rules which face right toward the wearer’s sword arm. This rule continues to apply and the eagle now faces to the front or the wearer’s right.  

First There Were Firsts:  The First Class Petty Officer has played an instrumental part in Naval History, and now you can own a piece of it with this Genuine Navy Pride Challenge Coin! Created by Genuine United States Navy Sailors for Genuine United States Navy Sailors!

First Class Petty Officer Coins

First Class Petty Officers: The First Deckplate Leaders

The Design features a Squid a higher form of marine life, holding onto the Three Chevrons of a Navy First Class Petty Officer. The centerpiece is encircled by the words “First To Lead” recognizing that before there were Chief Petty Officers it was First Class Petty Officers whom took the charge of leading Sailors. Even today, one must first serve honorably as a FCPO before being selected for advancement to Chief. On top we find a Napoleonic Eagle, affectionately known as a “Crow” in Navy Parlance watching over the horizon ensuring the safety of all those under his charge.

  • Deep 3D relief with metallic and colored accents
  • 2 inch coin
  • Highly detailed relief USN Commemorative Coin.
  • Government Approved – Lab Tested – Packed in 100% Salt Water – Sealed For Freshness

First Class Petty Officers Shirt