It probably goes back to the days when a Midshipman was neither upper, nor lower deck and considered a position, rather than a rank. Of course, the Crabs weren't even born then.
I have to admit, I never had any problems reminding a Pilot Officer that he was still of the Junior Service and, therefore, worthy of my condescension. This went down particularly well whilst enjoying the hospitality of the RAF flying training system The good thing was it didn't last very long and soon, resplendent in the glory of my single gold stripe, could I laud my seniority, as Senior Service, over the Flying Officers.
Yeah, it never really went down like any of that. We were all on the same course, didn't a flying fig about who was senior to whom and spent the whole time spilling beer down our fronts and chasing gronks from York.....ahhhh, happy times
Don't you salute Air Marshals in the Navy? / We haven't got any.*
If you were in the Army you'd be a Sergeant./If I was in the Army I'd be a Colonel.
I have witnessed a female USN senior officer grip an RM 2/Lt and ask; 'don't you salute female officers in the Royal Marines?' 'We haven't got any m'am' was undoubtedly for my benefit -I'd tell the chaps and he'd become legend. Imagine his surprise when the Detatchment Sergeant Major found out, read his horoscope and marched him into M'am's office for some humble pie
A CCMEA (as was then) of my acquaintance once spoke to a badly briefed Commander E, the same contemptuous way he addressed stupid ( I prefer 'still learning' ) AMEO/DMEOs. His feet didn't touch the ground, fortunately his buttons didn't either but it was a close thing.
He learned his lesson and he's rather senior himself now, more tolerant, more mellow, a good mentor but no less formidable.