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Chief petty officer

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Chief petty officer is the highest enlisted rating in Starfleet. The chief petty officer, invariably referred to as chief, was a senior non-commissioned officer and is often in control of an entire section of petty officers and unrated enlisted personnel.

The term "chief petty officer" is deduced from real-world naval nomenclature; it is not used in canon Trek, only the word "chief".

Chiefs are further subdivided into a series of ranks based on seniority and merit. These ranks, from lower to higher are as follows: chief, senior chief, and master chief.

A chief or senior chief is addressed as Chief (with surname, as in Chief O'Brien in the first instance, and as plain Chief thereafter). A master chief is addressed as Master Chief.

While chiefs are subordinate to all commissioned officers, intelligent ensigns or lieutenants will listen to their chiefs, as these non-commissioned officers frequently have far greater experience than the junior officers under whom they serve. Even senior officers recognize the value of a good chief petty officer and will take their suggestions and advice seriously.

Romulans considered the chief petty officers as being the enlisted counterparts of the senior officers, in so much that they are the most senior enlisted crewmen for a particular division. Terenar once served as the security CPO on the RIS Bouteina until field-promoted to ensign. (RIS Bouteina)

Chief of the boatEdit

Usually, the most senior chief on board ship is designated the Chief of the Boat (nicknamed "COB"). In many ways, the Chief of the Boat serves as the enlisted counterpart to the ship's first officer. His responsibilities include ensuring that the other chiefs and the duty sections they are responsible for are properly carrying out their duties, carrying out crew evaluations of enlisted personnel, handling minor disciplinary infractions that do not require the first officer or captain's direct attention, and otherwise liaising with the captain and first officer to ensure the smooth running of the ship. (Star Trek: Dauntless, Star Trek: Independence, Star Trek: Remington, Star Trek: Tales of the USS Bluefin, et al.)

HistoryEdit

The term "chief petty officer" and "Chief of the Boat" originate in the maritime navies of Earth. The abbreviation in the United States Navy is CPO. The maritime navies of Earth also reserved a special section on naval vessels called the goat locker for their reserved use.

The navy rank system was adapted and simplified for use in Starfleet. In the 23rd century complex and safety-critical systems like the transporters are only operated by chiefs or senior engineering officers. (TOS)

By the 24th century the rating of chief was subdivided in to chiefs, senior chiefs and master chiefs similarly to 20th century usage. (DS9)

We can deduce this from O'Brien's insignia, which indicates senior chief. The distinction is not articulated in dialog. Previous costumes did not have distinct insignia for subdivisions of chief, but they have been created speculatively for RPGs.

Starfleet insigniaEdit

22nd century 2230s
CPO (ENT).png
Yellow (ENT).png
Blue (2230s)
2250s 2265-2270s Early 2270s Late 2270s-2350s
CPO (2250s).png
Yellow (2250s).png
Yellow (TOS)
CPO Shoulder (TMP).png
White Shoulder (TMP).png
CPO Sleeve (TWOK).png
White Enlisted Sleeve (TWOK).png
2350s-2360s 2360s-2370s
service uniform
[1]
2360s-2370s
duty uniform
[1]
2373-
Chief (Early TNG).png
Red (Early TNG).png
Chief (TNG).png
Red (TNG).png
Chief (DS9-VOY).png
Red (VOY).png
CPO (DS9-VOY).png
Red (DS9).png
CPO (TNG).png
Red (TNG).png
CPO (DS9-VOY).png
Red (VOY).png

Alternate realities Edit

2250s 2380s-2400s 2390s 29th century
Yellow (STXI)
CPO (2380s).png
Red (2380s).png
CPO (2390s).png
Red (2390s).png
CPO (2800s).png
Blue (2800s).png

Non-Starfleet insigniaEdit

Klingon Navy Lyran Starfleet
Klingon Navy - CPO Lyran SE E-5


Enlisted ranks Etc Officer ranks Flag ranks
Starfleet
Officers
Enlisted
Misc.
CR
CA
CN
PO3
PO2
PO1
CPO SCPO MCPO
CMCPO
FMCPO
MCPOSF
WO
CDT
MID
REC
ENS LTJG LT LCDR CDR CAPT
FCAPT
CDRE
RDML
RADM
VADM ADM FADM
Klingon Defense Force
(Ground forces & navy)
Bekk Cpl Sgt MSgt SgtMaj 2nd Lt 1st Lt Capt
(HoH)
Maj LtCol Col Brig
('ech)
LtGen Gen
(Sa')
PO2 PO1 CPO MCPO ENS LTJG LT
(Sogh)
LCDR CDR
(la')
CAPT
(HoD)
CDRE
(totlh)
VADM ADM


Kai Imperium TRN
MNX
IMUN
LGN3
LGN2
LGN1
CLGN CEN SCEN PVT PRN OP TRB
VIC
PR PTR MST LEG IMP
Kellarian System
Defense Force

(Navy & Ground forces)
CR
CN
PO2
PO1
CPO SCPO MCPO ENS SLT LT SCDR CDR CAPT CDRE VADM ADM FADM
PVT
PFC
CPL
SGT
SSG MSG SGM 3LT 2LT 1LT MAJ LTCOL COL MGEN LGEN GEN CGEN
Lyran ranks CR
CN
PO2
PO1
CPO SCPO MCPO CDT ENS LTJG LT LCDR CDR CAPT
FCAPT
CDRE SCDRE VADM COUNT DUKE
KING
So'ja High Command REC
CN
PVT
PO3
PO2
PO1
CPO MC CPL SGT LT MAJ LTCOL COL ADM MADM SADM

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Up until the introduction of specialized insignia in 2372, chief petty officers wore one hollow pip.

External linksEdit

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