Why is the star on the Senior Chief and Master Chief anchors upside down?”
And I was asked this again recently.
That’s a good question……
Most of what I have in my reference materials point to an unknown reason for them pointing down. In other words there is no reason…..that’s just the way the uniform boards at the time made them.
If you look at the Navy Officer’s uniform the stars on their uniforms are also upside down.
There are a couple of speculative reasons that I have read in various references:
1. The inverted star, like the one on the Medal of Honor, is considered a symbol of honor for those who “give all” for the service of their country .
2. The inverted star is used to show a position of responsibility but is inverted so as not to confuse it with the upright star reserved for use by Flag Officers.
Chief petty officer stars were introduced with the creation of Senior Chief Petty Officer and Master Chief Petty Officer in 1958.
The Senior and Master Chief stars were modeled after the officer’s star.
When I made Senior Chief an old crusted Master Chief told me the star was upside down….so information could flow down the star onto the lower chain of command. The top was open showing that the Senior Chief and Master Chief were open-minded.
Also you will note that the MCPON’s insignia has an upright star added as the third star on the metallic collar and cap insignia…a reference to his special command status and set apart from other Command and Fleet Master Chief ‘s.