What was the Breathe-Easier clause

ANSWER: In 1942, the Navy Bureau of Personnel aka BUPERS initiated the "Breathe-Easier" clause.
This meant that an acting Chief Petty Officer could ‘breathe easier’ because their Chief appointment was made permanent.
Prior to 1942, the Chief Petty Officer grade used to have both permanent and acting appointments, whereby commanding officers could promote Petty Officers to acting appointments as a Chief in order to fill vacancies in ships' billets.
The acting appointments were generally six months to a year in length and they could be made permanent if the commanding officer recommended to BUPERS that an individual be given a permanent appointment for the rate in which he served.
This meant that the commanding officer could not reduce a Chief in rate at NJP and it would take a court-martial and BUPERS approval to reduce a Chief serving under a permanent appointment.
The importance of this in today’s Chief's community is that a Chief can speak their mind to their chain of command without the worry that they would be reduced in rank.....which most Chiefs do.