KAPLAN named Honorary Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

Mr. Kaplan was named an Honorary Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy by MCPON Smith in May 2019 By regulation, only the MCPON may authorize the recognition of an individual as an Honorary Chief Petty Officer. Mr. Kaplan was presented with this honor in a small ceremony following the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition SECNAV luncheon. MCPON 13 Mike Stevens, National Executive Director of the Navy League, supported MCPON Smith in the presentation.

An individual just can’t be recommended by anyone, well they could however, the recommendation has to be initiated by a Command Master Chief, Chief of the Boat, Command Senior Chief, or Senior Enlisted Advisor. The recommendation needs to be backed by substantial factual data regarding the individual’s continuing involvement with the Navy’s Chief Petty Officer’s Mess, as well as justifying actions that exhibit the nominee’s advancement towards the professional objectives of the CPO Mess as well as demonstrating the principles consistent with the CPO Mess. The recognition of Honorary Chief Petty Officer is intended to recognize a sustained contribution, not just a single act.

The title of Honorary Chief Petty Officer is in nature symbolic, there is no pay associated with it, nor is the individual eligible for any veteran’s benefits. Honorary Chief is the highest grade that can be honored. The idea being that it is appreciation from the Chief Mess as a whole, and not to divide the recipients based on current or prior rank.

Kaplan commented: “This is such an honor and humbling to be named an Honorary Chief by MCPON Smith. Supporting our sea services and their families is something I am very passionate about, as is our entire Navy League. It takes a team to make the magic happen and it is a privilege to give back to those who do so much for us. This is an incredible honor that I will always cherish and thank you to all the other Chiefs for your warm welcome “to the Mess.”