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CPO Rachel Coriolis is the most decorated enlisted female in the Codfed Navy, and generally regarded as one of the top five naval engineers on active duty (the other four all being flag-rank officers).
Corolis was born on a Navy base, the middle child and only girl in a family of five. Her father was a Navy MP and career enlisted, her mother was a nightclub singer (and, before her marriage, a showgirl). From earliest childhood Rachel only wanted to do one thing -- take starships and fighters apart, then fix them, and make them go faster. In school she excelled in science and math, though her other grades were unspectacular. She went to college and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She took Naval ROTC and did well, but dropped out in her Junior year rather than accept a commission. Rachel inherited one noteworthy attitude from her father -- a healthy contempt for officers, especially those who "don't know their place"
She rose rapidly through the ranks. Although the Victory was no plum assignment, she was the youngest flight deck Chief on a Confed carrier at the time she took the assignment. During the final days of the war, aboard the Victory, she met and fell in love with Christopher Blair. Immediately after the war they were married.
After the war, however, she found herself completely unsuited to rural civilian life. A messy breakup ensued and she re-enlisted. During her brief retirement she had resumed her education, and over the next several years she earned two post-graduate degrees while continuing to run Navy ships (Coriolis has no doubt whatsoever who really runs any Navy ship to which she happens to be posted, and her first name isn't "Captain"). She began to publish regularly in engineering journals. She turned down several offers of instant commissions to rank as high as captain.
Occasionally (largely due to Naval regulations about continuous combat tours) she can be lured away onto a research project for awhile, but she has always been happiest with a busy flight desk firmly in her grasp. She entered the Midway development team late in the process, at Blair's invitation, under the explicit promise that she could take over the flight deck when the ship launched. Her time aboard the Midway has allowed her to put aside any lingering bitterness towards her ex-husband, and forge a strong, mature friendship with Blair.