Chief Petty Officers (CPO's) wear khaki uniforms and a gold, fouled anchor with silver super-imposed USN across said anchor. Senior Chiefs have one silver star, master chiefs have two silver stars, and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy has 3 stars.
The Chief is often a mid-level to upper-level supervisor of department or workcenter operations aboard US Navy commands. The Chief is theoretically responsible for the safety, conduct and training of sailors under their respective command.
Normally it takes years of training, sea-time, and over-the-top performance for a First Class Petty Officer to qualify for Chief. Chief-selects who pass the Chief's test are considered "board eligible" and their promotion package is reviewed by an eligibilty board. This board is manned by fellow CPO's. Chiefs choose their own members.
The Chief's Mess is often called "the Goat Locker.
Chiefs generally come in one of two varieties, but these are not all-encompassing:
One: The Hard-Charger. This Chief never quits, and expects the best out of everyone, at all times. Usually holding a coffee mug in their hand, heavily stained with the remnants of many cups of coffee. The Hard Charger is usually a chief who will expect the job to get done, done right the first time, or if not, to have any deficiencies rectified, immediately. These chiefs are usually considered by subordinates to be difficult to work for and a "pain in the butt". However difficult they may be to work for, the results of working for a hard charger speak for themselves.
The lazy chief - the lazy chief also holds the sacred coffee mug of Chiefhood. Most of the work done by the lazy chief is actually accomplished by their leading 1st class or subordinate petty officers/seamen. The lazy chief will often take credit for others' hard charging. These chiefs will often, in no particular frequency; come in late without holding ones' self accountable to muster times, take extended lunches, skip out of work due to personal requirements off-site, leave early due to inactivity. These chiefs do not always have the best interest of their sailors in mind. These are the chiefs that will end up taking space from hard working sailors, preventing their subsequent promotion to CPO. Furthermore, like the Hard Charger, the results of working for a lazy chief are usually self-evident, which generally include extra time spent fixing what's gone wrong, cutting into liberty time.
In general, the Chief is a man/woman to respect, admire, and look up to for guidance and advice. Once a Chief, always a Chief.
Chief Petty Officer: Shipmate! Did you dog down that hatch?
Joe Schmuckatelli: No Chief?
CPO: Dog that hatch! You wanna get us all killed?!... AND SHINE THOSE BOOTS!
The Lazy Chief:
Joe Schmuckatelli: Chief, do you have a second? I have a question regarding my checkouts.
CPO: (sips coffee mug while shooting the breeze with LPO) I don't have time, I'm sure this fine Petty Officer 1st Class will be able to help you out, Shippy.