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Master chief petty officer insignia
Mov mcpo.png

Starfleet, Late 2270s - 2350s

Starfleet, Late 2270s - 2350s
Tng chief.png

Starfleet, Late 2360s - Early 2370s

Starfleet, Late 2360s - Early 2370s

Master chief petty officer (MCPO) was an enlisted naval rate, a type of military rank used by the service organizations of different cultures. As a traditional naval grade, MCPO was the most senior grade of chief petty officer, and is the highest non-commissioned officer grade in organizations like Starfleet and the United States Navy. In comparison to infantry ranking systems, this rate was approximately equivalent to the most senior sergeant grade, such as sergeant-major. Personnel of this grade could be addressed simply as chief (or more properly, "master chief"), and sometimes by their job title, such as "master chief specialist."

While nominally subordinate to all commissioned officers, master chiefs wielded far more influence and authority than most junior officers and acted as mentors and advisors to senior officers. Master chiefs had decades of practical experience and were an indispensable source of technical skill and leadership on Starfleet vessels.

When there were individual grades of chief petty officers, senior chief petty officer (SCPO) was subordinate to MCPO.

In 2286, when a probe projecting humpback whale signals threatened to destroy Earth, Master CPO Janice Rand was one of the officers in Admiral Cartwright's command area. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

This chart shows only general equivalencies based on the ranks used by many governments on Earth, as well as the rest of the galaxy.

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Background information Edit

Tng mcpo

The MCPO insignia designed, but not used, for DS9

The rank of "master chief petty officer" was never referenced in dialogue, but is rather derived in part from rank insignia.

The Star Trek movie-era rank insignia, designed by Robert Fletcher, was the first and only Trek insignia systems to feature separate pins for several realistic grades of CPOs. It is odd that Rand was in a chief uniform – while she was an enlisted chief in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, when she appeared again in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock she was wearing officer insignia before being seen with MCPO insignia in Star Trek IV. Since the character in Star Trek III was simply credited as "woman", it may not necessarily have been Rand, but a different character. The revised shooting script for Star Trek IV was prefaced with several production notes, including one that stated: "Please note that Master Chief Petty Officer Rand now first appears in Scene 25 and in all subsequent Starfleet Command scenes," replacing the previous script note reference to her being a lieutenant.

Similar confusion in Rand holding various officer ranks dates back to the Marvel TOS "Eclipse of Reason" and DC TOS volume 2 "The Dream Walkers" comics, and continues in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and VOY: "Flashback".

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