Chief of the Boat (COB) is a senior enlisted man (or woman) on a starship in the Federation Starfleet who assists and advises the commanding officer and executive officer on matters regarding the good order and discipline of the crew. There is only one COB on a vessel and he is generally responsible for the day-to-day operations of the boat's non-commissioned personnel and for their morale and training. While it is usually true that the COB is the most senior enlisted man, it is not strictly required. The CO is neither required to select the highest ranking man or the most senior in time in grade aboard, nor to replace his COB with a more senior man who reports aboard after the COB's selection. The positon of COB should obviously be considered as a senior staff as well as a command staff positon on a starship.
When a new enlisted crewmember joins a ship's crew, the COB is usually one of the first people he will meet. While the COB is outside the direct chain of command for crewmembers junior to him, he has a tremendous amount of authority and carries a lot of weight, generally being thought of as the top of a virtual enlisted chain of command.
On most starships and starbases, the COB holds the rank of Command Master Chief Petty Officer. However, when it comes to fleets and task forces, COB, being the senior NCO onboard the flagship and, ergo, the fleet or task force, then he would hold the rank of Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer.
- While the term is technically outdated, it has remained as Starfleet jargon as an homage to the ancient navies of Earth.
Notable COBs[edit | edit source]
- Pono Kyman
- Jonas th'Kore
- Joshua Gunn
- Solly Brin
- Brian Filipek: Holds chief petty officer rank due to smaller crew size.