If you are a recently promoted Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer, CONGRATULATIONS! Also, thank you for considering me to make your Charge Book!
For those who are simply browsing, the rank of Chief Petty Officer means the individual is a senior non-commissioned officer and is recognized by the Coast Guard and his/her peers as a technical expert in his/her area of specialization (rating) and as a leader. As a part of the promotion process, the Prospective Chief Petty Officer participates in the "Chief's Call to Indoctrination (CCTI)" the purpose of which is to prepare the candidate for his/her new role. This indoctrination includes a heavy dose of history and "words of wisdom." One of the requirements is to prepare a Chief's Charge Book--"A decorative binder used to collect pieces of memorabilia relating to CCTI. The major emphasis of the Charge book is to collect “Charges” or “Words of Wisdom” from other chief petty officers that add value and meaning for the new chief petty officer. Charges and comments should be instructive and encouraging. The Charge book should be a keepsake that the chief would be proud to display in future years. "
It is my privilege to assist in this process by making these binders.
To date I have made four styles of Charge Book:
1) Basic single-piece, three sided binder, folding at the side;
2) Basic three-piece (front, back and spine are separate pieces of leather), three sided binder folding at the side; (these can be laser engraved as well as tooled). The three pieces can be sewn together or attached with a seam or welt that is variously called a "Reynolds Seam/Welt" or a "Marshal Seam/Welt" or a "Frog-Toes Seam/Welt"3) Basic single-piece, three sided binder, folding at the side, with strap and closure; and
4) Single piece folder wtih closure flap and two straps with closures.
While I have yet to make one, it would also be possible to have a binder that opens at the top and has a closure strap at the bottom.
For holding the paper and materials assembled in the binder, I use scrapbooking posts rather than ring mechanisms.
How you wish to decorate your Charge Book is up to you. Things that have been done include:
Coast Guard Shield/Emblem;
Coast Guard Motto;
Date of Promotion;
The binders can be done in full color (gold and silver on the Chief's Anchor; Blue and Red on the Coast Guard shield; gold rope and lettering; etc. with a medium brown antique) or in a single color of your choice (typically medium or dark brown antique, but others are possible).
I also have painted metalic conchos with the Coast Guard Shield that can be added to Charge Book, as well as Leather Rosettes that have been stamped with Coast Guard Shield. The stamp of the shield can also be used separately.
The leather rosette also makes a great key chain!
To be able to give you a price quote, I need the following information:
1) How much material do you want the book to hold? (4" is frequently chosen)
2) What lining do you want, pigskin or deer-tanned cowhide? (pigskin is slightly less expensive, but the deer-tanned cowhide is softer and gives a lusher feel)
a) Side or Top Fold?
b) Closure Flap with Straps? Strap(s) only? Belt with Sam Brown Button?
How many Straps/Belts? No closure mechanism.
4) Do you want the edges sewn or laced?
5) Full Color Treatment or a single color? What color(s)?
6) Add Coast Guard Conchos or Rosettes? which and how many?
7) What design/tooling do you want on your Charge Book?
8) Anything else you think I should know.
Another option is to go with a laser engraved Charge Book, or an engraved Charge Book with a tooled border as shown below. These have to be done in three sections (to be able to fit the leather in the laser), but it is still possible to have a flap and strap closure arrangement. It is also restricted to a single color. This shows the three pieces sewn together.
This option is handy since it can be completed more quickly.
Here is an example of the "Reynolds Seam/Welt"...
" Amazing quality! What a positive experience working with Ric. I could not be happier with this project......from start, to finish."
"Ric made exactly what I wanted and needed! His quality was not only superb, but his communications and understanding were perfect and just what I was looking for. I would recommend him to anyone looking for specialty leather work!"
"What can I say except AWESOME!! Richard was great to work with and he finished the book ahead of schedule. Very easy to communicate and always responded immediately to questions that I had. I will definitely highly recommend Richard to my fellow Coasties! Thanks again Ric! I love the book!!"
"This was exactly what I wanted/needed. The quality of the item was great. The creator was awesome. I love the finished product. I will recommend this to all my fellow Coasties. He provided my book before the estimated time of delivery. Thanks again to Richard for everything. I am getting nothing but good comments on my Charge Book. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
To Order Your Charge Book, go to the " Contact Us " page and send an email, or call me at (918) 704-7900.