In the United States Navy and Coast Guard, and in the Navies of various country's- the lowest level of senior enlistedmen. An informal, but widely used, contraction of the title Chief Petty Officer (US grade E-7).
The most important promotion in an enlistedman's career, the title carries with it significant responsibilities, not limited to training and mentoring junior commissioned officers (15 or so years younger than themselves) and playing father figure to a bunch of juvenile imbeciles the Navy has the audacity to call sailors.
Chiefs are well respected by senior officers, feared by junior enlisted men and are treated like a general pain in the ass by far too many junior officers. Identified by their khaki uniforms, they maintain a separate mess that even a Captain can't enter without permission and cannot be demoted short of a conviction at Court Martial.
"Chief says he'll burn my ass if I'm late for work again. Goddamn it, I'm a fucking Ensign, no fucking way should that dickhead be able to go over my head like that."
"You've been in 9 months, and know shit. Say that after you've put in 15 years."
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