A Hat Display Box

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Project by brianinpa posted 04-25-2008 03:22 AM 16193 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The story leading up to overkill.

For an enlisted man or woman in the US Navy there are a few days that hold significant meaning to them. For me those days are the day that I graduated boot camp, the day I retired from active duty, and the most significant was the day that I was initiated as a Chief Petty Officer. Being a Chief is not merely another advancement, but rather the acceptance of all other Chief Petty Officers as a member of their brother/sisterhood of men and women who can accomplish anything. In any command, the Chief’s Mess, as it is called, has a member that has been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt. If you don’t have the answer or solution to a question or problem, someone else has and all you need to do is ask for help. The events that occurred the year I made Chief are different from the events that take place today: political correctness and progression of time have caused certain aspects to become a part of Naval Heritage. Some things belong in the past, but there were some things that I had to endure that taught me very valuable lessons. I am proud of the fact that I was and always will be a Chief.

The day I was selected to the rank of Chief, my “I love me wall” (the place where I hung all my awards or commemorative mementoes) became an “I love me room.” One of the items in my room is my hat box.

The overkill!

The instructions given were to construct a vessel that will contain the combination cover the day of the pinning ceremony when you first wear the uniform of a Chief Petty Officer. The instructions were to make this box out of 6 sides measuring 13 inches square and 7 inches tall with a window in the front. These instructions were fine for everyone else, but not for me: I made mine more of a display case.

Red oak stained walnut. The dimensions are as instructed, but the top also had a pane of glass. Both the top and front are picture framed to add a “touch.” The inside is lined with navy blue silk that is embroidered on the back panel.

Others were satisfied with just following the instructions; I always went a little bit further. The results are a display case for a symbol that represents a Chief, and I am proud of it. Thanks for looking.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

13 comments so far

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4363 days

#1 posted 04-25-2008 03:37 AM

Beaut job Brian. Thanks for sharing.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4730 days

#2 posted 04-25-2008 03:51 AM

Fantastic display box!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4500 days

#3 posted 04-25-2008 03:51 AM

Great box! Thank you for your service to our country.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4333 days

#4 posted 04-25-2008 04:02 AM


This is a wonderful box and a nice story behind it as well.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4234 days

#5 posted 04-25-2008 04:05 AM

Thanks. I like to share the reason behind the project, sometimes I get a little wordy but I think it adds to the project..

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4589 days

#6 posted 04-25-2008 05:02 AM

very cool…thank you for all the you do sir!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4199 days

#7 posted 04-25-2008 05:11 AM

awesome box and thank you for serving !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Masterchief 's profile


70 posts in 4238 days

#8 posted 04-25-2008 12:20 PM

Yep Brian it is that time of the year again, this time make sure you are on the board for Season of Pride and guide the future Chiefs in this area of our heritage, but regardless, good box.

-- When you are at a point in life and you think there is nothing more to learn, then you must understand that you have learned nothing at all. Billy

View Lip's profile


158 posts in 4561 days

#9 posted 04-25-2008 01:25 PM

Nice box … so where’s the hat? lol

::: hoping never washing out your coffee cup and hanging it up for everyone to see as soon as they walk into the Chief’s Mess is one of those things that’s slipped into Naval Heritage :::

-- Lip's Dysfuncational Firewood Farm, South Bend, IN

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4672 days

#10 posted 04-25-2008 02:48 PM

a wonderful story behind this piece. Beautiful hat box and memories

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4234 days

#11 posted 04-25-2008 03:08 PM

The picture with the hat in the box didn’t make in the post because of my poor photograhy abilities. I don’t think coffee cups hanging in the Mess will ever go away. One thing that can always be found on board ship or station is a hot pot of coffee 24 hours a day. I still find myself carrying my coffee cup around like Billy is holding his in his picture above: force of habbit even after retiring 4 1/2 years ago.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4231 days

#12 posted 04-27-2008 01:13 AM

Way to go Brian, that’s a great looking box and a very worthy story to go with it. Thanks for your service to all of us.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4681 days

#13 posted 04-27-2008 02:16 AM

Beautiful box and story.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

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