Chief of Staff

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The title chief of staff identifies the leader of a complex organization such as the armed forces, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a principal staff officer, who is the coordinator of the supporting staff or a primary aide-de-camp to an important individual, such as a senior military officer.[1]


In the Royal Manticoran Navy of the canon novels, fleet commanders and flag officers commanding echelon units have a staff embarked with them on their flagship for the administration and control of the ships under their command. This staff is headed by the chief of staff, who acts as the intermediary between the commanding officer and the staff members, as well as being principal adviser to the CO.


In The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc.(TRMN), a Fleet Commander is encouraged, but not required, to have a chief of staff. COs of task forces and squadrons are also allowed to have chiefs of staff. The rank of the chief of staff will be at least Commander (O-5), and is commonly captain (O-6A or O-6B). For high-ranking admirals, a chief of staff could be a commodore (F-1).

The First Lord of the Admiralty and the Space Lords also have chiefs of staff.[2]

Deputy Chief of Staff

Formerly, the Royal Manticoran Army (RMA) Chief of Staff was the second-in-command of the RMA under the Marshal of the Army, acting in the Marshal's place if the Marshal was unable to fulfil their duties. The Chief of Staff oversaw Deputy Chiefs of Staff who had administrative functions parallel to the Space Lords. [3].

In 2012, Army Directive 05-1203A established the following:

  • Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ODCSINTEL)
  • Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (ODCSOPS)
  • Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (ODCSPER)
  • Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Training (ODCSTRA)
  • Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (ODCSLOG)

In 2022, Army Directive 2201-01 replaced the above structure with a Deputy Marshal of the Army who is second-in-command and acts in the Marshal's place when necessary, as well as an Adjutant General who oversees:

  • Commanding Officer of Intelligence Corps (CO-IC)
  • Commanding Officer of Signal Corps (CO-SC)
  • Commanding Officer of Logistics Corps (CO-LC)


The distinguishing uniform insignia of a chief of staff is an aiguillette:

“Admiral Parks was bent over a holo display with a commodore—probably Commodore Capra, the chief of staff, she thought, noting the braided aiguilette hanging from his left shoulder...”[4]

Admiralty Order 1507-02 specifies wear of aiguilettes and shoulder cords for chiefs of staff and other TRMN personnel.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Admiralty Order 1811-03 appoints CDRE Cindy Jeffers as chief of staff to the First Lord of the Admiralty.
  3. Army Directive 05-1204 defines the Army Chief of Staff's duties
  4. "A Short Victorious War", Chapter Sixteen