First referenced in OPNAVINST 1306.2C dated 16 October 1995 (now 1036.2G), the Navy's command master chief program is a valuable asset which stimulates free-flowing communications and ensures the highest standards of professionalism are upheld at all levels within the chain of command. Command master chiefs strengthen the chain of command by keeping the commanding officer aware of existing or potential situations as well as procedures and practices which affect the mission, readiness, welfare and morale of the sailors in the command. CMCs are the senior enlisted leaders who report directly to their respective commanding officers. They formulate and implement policies concerning morale, welfare, job satisfaction, discipline, utilization and training of navy personnel. By reporting directly to their commanding officer, the CMCs keep their chain of command aware and informed of sensitive and current issues.
All commands with 250 or more enlisted manpower will have a CMC assigned by the Bureau of Personnel. All carrier based air wing squadrons, deployable helicopter anti-submarine warfare light, helicopter combat support, and maritime patrol squadrons will have CMC requirement regardless of size due to the complexity of their operations. Those commands that do not have enlisted manpower of 250 shall assign a CMC from within command resources on a collateral duty basis. In the absence of a master chief petty officer, a senior chief petty officer or chief petty officer may be assigned.
U.S. Navy submarines equivalent of a command master chief is known as the "chief of the boat," or "COB". The chief of the boat of a submarine has similar duties to that of a command master chief in a surface, aviation, or shore unit.
The rate insignia of a command master chief petty officer consists of two silver stars, one perched eagle, one silver star taking the place of rating insignia, and one rocker above three chevrons.
United States Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard CMC insignia
Like the U.S. Navy, the United States Coast Guard also utilizes the title and designation of command master chief. These individuals are also informally referred to as "gold badge" due to the insignia they wear. Command master chiefs can be so designated either by the Commandant of the Coast Guard or the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. One commandant-designated CMC is located at each area, each district, both maintenance and logistics commands, headquarters, the Coast Guard Academy, and the Deployable Operations Group. One commandant-designated reserve command master chief is located at each area, each district, both maintenance and logistics commands. One Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard-designated CMC is located at each training center, Coast Guard recruiting command, and the Personnel Service Center.
The rate insignia of a command master chief petty officer consists of two silver stars, one perched eagle, one silver shield taking the place of rating insignia, and one rocker above three chevrons.