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A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer in many navies and coast guards.



Royal Canadian Navy chief petty officer 2nd class insignia

"Chief petty officer" refers to two ranks in the Canadian Navy. Chief petty officer 2nd class (CPO2) (premier maître de deuxième classe or pm2 in French) is equivalent to a master warrant officer in the Army and Air Force, and chief petty officer 1st class (CPO1) (premier maître de première classe or pm1) is equivalent to a chief warrant officer in the Army and Air Force. In spoken references, chief petty officers may be addressed as "Chief" but are never addressed as "Sir".

United Kingdom[]

In the Royal Navy, the rank of chief petty officer comes above that of petty officer and below that of warrant officer class 2. It is the equivalent of colour sergeant in the Royal Marines, staff sergeant in the Army, and flight sergeant in the Royal Air Force.

United States of America[]

Chief petty officer is the seventh enlisted rate in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above petty officer first class and below senior chief petty officer, and is a senior non-commissioned officer. The grade of chief petty officer was established on April 1, 1893 for the Navy.[1] The United States Congress first authorized the Coast Guard to use the promotion to chief petty officer on 18 May 1920.[2]

Unlike petty officer first class and lower rates, advancement to chief petty officer not only carries requirements of time in service, superior evaluation scores, and speciality examinations, but also carries an added requirement of peer review. A chief petty officer can only advance after review by a selection board of serving master chief petty officers, in effect "choosing their own" and conversely not choosing others.[3]

See also[]


  1. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa Jr. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (2007-03-30). "MCPON Reflects on 114 Years of Deckplate Leadership". Retrieved 2008-05-10. "...commemorating the establishment of the rate of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) in 1893." 
  2. The Coast Guardsman's Manual, ninth ed.,George E. Krietemeyer, Naval Institute Press,2000, ISBN 1-55750-468-7
  3. The Chief Petty Officer's Guide / John Hagan and Jack Leahy. - Naval Institute Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59114-459-0

External links[]

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