Military Life

6 types of Navy chiefs you'll meet in the fleet

The first chief petty officer was designated on April 1st, 1893. Ever since, Navy chiefs have done their part mentoring, training, and terrorizing the junior enlisted sailors. Considered one of the hardest working ranks in the Navy, chiefs are known for drinking tons of coffee and sporting some epic mustaches.

Since the day a recruit shows up to boot camp to the day they pick up their DD-214, they'll have a chief or two within their chain of command.


Members of the E-7 pay grade can either be your best friend or worst enemy as you climb through the Navy's ranks.

Throughout all your years of service in the Navy, you'll encounter these various types of chiefs.

1. The educator

This chief is an overall good sailor. They want their lowered enlisted to become dependable experts within their specialties one day and believe it all starts with proper mentorship. They have a strong, brisk military bearing, but you can still ask them basic questions without appearing dumb.

It you land this type of chief at your first command, you're in luck. You should follow their lead.

This U.S. Navy chief teaches is sailors about all the different types of chiefs they'll encounter...

2. The E-4 chief

This is, hands down, our favorite type of chief — but not for the right reasons. This chief is cool as hell, but they may have forgotten that they're supposed a member of the senior enlisted group and not the E-4 mafia. They will talk sh*t to you and allow you to shovel it back at them without any issue.

You'll want to grab beers with them outside of work — if only it wasn't considered illegal by military standards.

3. The PT stud

This chief is rare, especially outside the Spec Op and Marine Corps community. Most blue-side chiefs don't work out nearly as often as they should, but this chief will run circles around the youngsters.

After you get to know them, you might hear them talk a little sh*t about those other, out-of-shape chiefs every once in a while.

4. The evil dictator

This chief is a complete d*ck and they'll consider each and every thing you do as wrong. In the eyes of the enlisted, they are the living descendants of Hitler and they'll make your life a living hell. No one can figure out why they are the way they are... they're just complete pricks.

5. The ghost

Several chiefs will claim this image is photoshopped.

(Photo by Joe Loong)

6. The micro-manager

This type of chief tends to stick their nose into everything and gives feedback even if it wasn't asked of them. They care more about the little things than they do about the big mission.

That could also mean they don't really know what's really going on.

He's just making sure she properly dots that 'i.'

(Photo by MC3 Charles Oki)