(In the Coast Guard, petty officers, chief petty officers, warrant officers, and commissioned officer all wear similar uniforms.) Sailors in the three Chief Petty Officer ranks also have conspicuous privileges such as separate dining and living areas.Any naval vessel of sufficient size has a room or rooms that are off-limits to anyone not a Chief (including officers) except by specific invitation (if one is invited to eat in the Chief's Mess, it is customary to eat everything on the plate no matter what condiments are added by members of the Chief's Mess to enhance one's dining experience).In Navy jargon, this room is called the Chief's Mess, or tongue in cheek, the "." In addition, a Chief Petty Officer, no matter how much he was on "first name" basis with other petty officers before promotion, is always addressed as "Chief" by subordinates and superiors.

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A recognized, collateral duty for all Chiefs is the training of Junior Officers.

Like Petty Officers, every Chief has both a rate (rank) and rating (job, similar to an MOS in other branches). Thus, a Chief Petty Officer, who has the rating of Gunner's Mate would properly be called a Chief Gunner's Mate.

Each rating has an official abbreviation, such as QM for Quartermaster, BM for Boatswain's Mate, or GM for Gunner's Mate.

Chief Petty Officers are normally addressed as "Chief Petty Officer Bloggins" or "Chief Bloggins", thereafter as "Chief".

The "1st Class" and "2nd Class" designations are normally only used when such a distinction needs to be made, such as on a promotion parade or to distinguish two Petty Officers with similar names but different ranks.

Despite their equivalence to the senior warrant officer ranks of the other elements, Chief Petty Officers are never addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'am". story_id=28602title= MCPON Reflects on 114 Years of Deckplate Leadershipaccessdate= 2008-05-10accessdaymonth= accessmonthday= accessyear= author= (SW/FMF) Joe R.Campa Jr.last= first= authorlink= coauthors= date= 2007-03-30year= month= format= work= publisher= pages= language= doi= archiveurl= archivedate= quote= "...commemorating the establishment of the rank of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) in 1893."] Unlike Petty Officer First Class and lower ranks, advancement to Chief Petty Officer not only carries requirements of time in service, superior evaluation scores, and specialty examinations, but also carries an added requirement of peer review.A Chief Petty Officer can only advance after review by a selection board of serving Senior and Master Chief Petty Officers, in effect "choosing their own" and conversely not choosing others.Advancement into the Chief Petty Officer grades is the most significant promotion within the enlisted naval ranks.At the rank of Chief, the Sailor takes on more administrative duties.In the Navy, their uniform changes to reflect this change of duty, becoming identical to that of an officer's uniform except with different insignia.