There's one thing I learned during my time onboard the USS Peleliu as a permanent member of Ship's Company and it's that CPOs take their Mess serious. I've been a member of the Marine Corps' staff non-commissioned officer (SNCO) community now for fourteen years and was even president of my last unit's SNCO club. Whats sets these two communities apart is that when there's a CPO Mess meeting you're there or you better have a good reason not to be there. With the Marines, it's commonplace to reschedule or not attend due to higher operational commitments - we still get the necessary word out via other means of communication, but the face-to-face, get a break away from work for a little bit isn't equal to that of what I've observed in the Mess.
I will continue to work with our Navy counterparts during my career, but it will never be at the level experienced on a Naval war vessel and as part of the CPO Mess. I am honored to have served with such great CPO's and will miss the "Iron Nickel."