First let me say to those First Class Petty Officers before the board, we’ve all been in your shoes. For the E-6 waiting for the results, this is the longest month of the year. I wish you all the best of luck on selection. If I could, I’d wave a magic wand and get all of you your hooks. I speak for all Chiefs when I say we look forward to welcoming you to the community.
Also, congratulations and well done to the new crop of Senior and Master Chiefs for FY 2020. The air gets thinner with every step up so you should be duly proud of your accomplishment.
All that said, I have been working in the shop on some special designs for all the chiefs. I am hoping that you, or those who love you, might take this occasion to pick up a VERY unique and thoughtful gift. These will definitely NOT be seen as something you ran to the exchange to pick up. And they damn sure out rank a gift card. Look for your pen below.
All pens come with a blue velvet pouch for their protection.
CPO Pen, Walnut and Brass
This pen is turned from reclaimed walnut from Fort Belvoir. About ten years ago my neighbor told me his crew was renovating some conference rooms and the tables were being thrown away. I asked him very explicitly, and in my most colorful Navy language, to please acquire said table wood for me. I have been using it all in smaller and smaller pieces. One of those is this pen.
It is turned down to what we call executive slim. I find this the most challenging since by the time you get a pen down to this width there is very little wood left to turn. One slip and you have a piece for the burn pile.
The finish is a hard, semi-gloss. The hardware is Cross-type and it takes Cross refills or the generic equivalent.
SCPO Pen, Cherry and Brass
Oh, baby! When you are in the business of selling things, especially things you’ve made, you’re really not supposed to show favorites. But this one is a humdinger!
I had forgotten how much I like working with Cherry wood. I recently made a pen for my granddaughter and was VERY pleased with how it turned out. So I immediately replaced the last Senior Chief pen to sell with this one.
Cherry is so workable that the process I use to create a semi-gloss or satin finish (usually my preference) produced a gloss finish over some of the prettiest grain you’ll ever see. It dances in the light.
This uses the same Cross hardware and refills as the Chief and Master Chief pen.
This is one of my all-time favorite projects, even though it is for one of those even-numbered chiefs.
MCPO Pen, Olive and Brass
Olive trees are impressive. They are tough, craggy gray trees that can survive in the toughest conditions. They can live for over 1000 years. Which is interesting, because when I was a wet-nose bootcamp in 1977, that’s how I saw the old-school Master Chiefs. I learned very quickly that a Master Chief was the very last person in the world you wanted to see in your workspace, unless you knew for a fact that you had done something right…and even then you were a bit nervous. So, here’s to the Master Chief.
Olive wood is a fine medium. An olive pen blank had been included in an old pen making kit I bought a while ago. I wish I had used it sooner. It has some amazing grain patterns and beautiful color. Again, just like a Master Chief. And the wood does smell like olives when you work it. Most of the Master Chiefs I knew in the 70’s smelled like cigarettes and coffee.
Like the other two Chief pens, this one uses Cross hardware and refills. In the case of all the slim pens I make, it is like having a Cross pen, but not one that thousands of others have. I make ’em one of a kind, one at a time.
Fair winds, my brothers and sisters.
Matthew E. Jordan III GMC (SW), USN Ret.