In other words, the CSO would pretty much be to Starfleet as a whole what Data is to the Enterprise or Harry Kim to Voyager -- the officer responsible for allocating and coordinating the resources and personnel necessary to carry out the commanding officer's orders and working with other department heads to determine how that needs to be done.
So I think the description you offer for CSO should really be for the commanding admiral, e.g. Nogura. Which is probably the same thing as either "Commander, Starfleet" or Chief of Staff, I'm not sure.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. It's a bit simplified, but I thought Kirk was the highest ranked redshirt in Starfleet in the early 2270s. And so per DTI: Forgotten History
, Admiral Antonio Delgado, the Chief of Starfleet Science Operations, is the highest ranked blueshirt in Starfleet.
I've always thought that C-in-C ranked just above Chief of Staff, but I don't know what to think of C-in-C in relation to Commander, Starfleet or Commanding Officer, Starfleet Command. I just realized that Protectors
, Rough Beasts of Empire
, The Struggle Within
, Raise the Dawn
, Silent Weapons
, etc refer to Akaar as "Commander in Chief (of Starfleet)", but The Crimson Shadow
refers to him as "Commanding Officer of Starfleet Command". So I guess those two terms are synonymous.
And I can't find any novel set in the 24th century that refers to a "Chief of Staff of Starfleet". Nor any novel set in the mid-23rd century that refers to a "Commander in Chief of Starfleet".
Y'know, why wasn't William Ross ever referred to as the "Commander in Chief"? It completely fits him.