Navy scuttles sailors’ enlisted rating titles in huge career shake-up

My father was so proud of being part of Navy during WWII. Had he not been sent home for youngest of two sons (underage no less), I absolutely believe he would have been navy career and never returned to his hometown. But then my sister and I would not exist. Still all the rest of his life I think he mourned that life circumstances prevented that from happening. This remained a sore spot between his older brother and my dad till his dying breath since his brother was the one who caught him at Pearl Harbor and had him shipped home just before all hell broke loose there. The point of the story is simple, Navy has always stood for and been part of military from the very beginning when patriot ships fought to set up a new country. It was a point of pride, order, rank and file which each sailor touched on his uniform and referred to with honor.

In 2009 Obama appointed Raymond Edwin “Ray” Mabus, Jr. He is a lifelong American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has served as the 75th United States. He served in the Navy as a surface warfare officer from 1970 to 1972 aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock (CLG-4), achieving the rank of Lieutenant, junior grade. Mabus previously served as the State Auditor of Mississippi from 1984 to 1988, as the 60th Governor of Mississippi from 1988 to 1992 and as the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994 to 1996. As governor his platform was “basic, drastic change.” He came under contentious charges in the Senate Armed Services in early 2016 on women in the military. He has tendered his resignation but with open date for leaving. (  (

Admiral John Michael Richardson currently serves as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations. He previously served as the Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program from November 2, 2012 to August 14, 2015. On May 13, 2015, United States Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, announced Richardson’s nomination to succeed Admiral Jonathan Greenert as Chief of Naval Operations. Richardson began serving as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations September 18, 2015.

So why bring these two gentlemen up? Simple thanks to them, the Navy is being reshaped to lose its traditional titles and identity.


Navy scuttles sailors’ enlisted rating titles in huge career shake-up

Mark D. Faram and Sam Fellman
September 29, 2016

The Navy deep-sixed all of its 91 enlisted ratings titles Thursday, marking the beginning of an overhaul of the rigid career structure that has existed since the Continental Navy in a radical shift sure to reverberate through the fleet and the veterans community beyond.

Sailors will no longer be identified by their job title, say, Fire Controlman 1st Class Joe Sailor, effective immediately. Instead, that would be Petty Officer 1st Class Joe Sailor.

Navy Times -NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. – What if sailors could be advanced immediately to openings based on their performance — no test needed — and could broaden their skills across multiple ratings, earning coveted certifications that will better set them up for high-paying jobs after the Navy?Those are some of the implications of the sea change that the Navy’s top enlisted is proposing in what could become the most radical enlisted personnel overhaul in decades. A system that widens sailors’ experience, allows for more predictable advancement and that deep-sixes hidebound career tracks and promotion systems.

Officials say the controversial move will improve sailors’ lives and ease their transition into the civilian workforce by broadening their skills in this tectonic shift in Navy’s personnel system to redraw the traditional lines between enlisted job specialties — a massive shake-up that is only beginning. Within the next three to four years, earlier if possible, the service plans to allow sailors to retrain in related skills, expanding their worth to the Navy while reaping broader assignment opportunities as well as increased advancement changes and greater access to special pays and bonuses that come with the most critical skills.

“We’re going to immediately do away with rating titles and address each other by just our rank as the other services do,” said Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke in a Sept. 19 interview. “We recognize that’s going to be a large cultural change, it’s not going to happen overnight, but the direction is to start exercising that now.”

Sailors past and present have longstanding and deep love of the titles that have defined their Navy lives. All of these now belong to the history books.

The Navy Times. The far-reaching career changes envisioned by the Navy’s enlisted leader raise questions about long-standing enlisted advancement rules. How do you advance a sailor who is qualified in many different ratings? How to do you evaluate their performance?

To highlight a few: Gunner’s Mate stood up the watch in 1775 in the Continental Navy. Boatswain’s Mate dropped anchor in 1775, too. Hospital Corpsman rushed to duty in 1948 after being called four other names over the previous 150 years. Operations Specialists started tracking in 1972 an upgrade from the name Radarman before it.

Through Navy history, as many as 700 titles have come and gone. Over 400 were created and eliminating during and immediately after World War II. But this move will disband these ratings entirely and reorganize sailors into Navy Occupational Specialties, or NOS, that will define the peer group they compete with for promotion. Under this new system, for example, Gunner’s mates will be identified as B320 and quartermasters will be B450.

The move also strips the titles airman, fireman, constructionman and hospitalman, titles that will be also replaced by job codes. The title seaman is the sole non-rated rating remaining, for E-3 and below.

The moves leaves the enlisted force’s foremost symbols as the petty officer crow and the chief petty officer anchors. It remains unclear what will happen to the ratings badges that feature iconic rating insignia that officials are considering changing. An engineman’s gear. An information systems technician’s sparks. These images were beloved by many and inspired countless tattoos.

The key to the revolutionary enlisted career changes proposed by the Navy’s top enlisted is cross-training. Instead of being locked into one specialty, sailors will be encouraged to gain new skills across ratings. Take engineering. To make his point at an all hands call where he unveiled his plan, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens called Engineman 1st Class (SW) Mark Santos and a few other sailors to the stage at the Norfolk base theater. After 12 years, Santos has few options. He can only serve aboard certain types of ships and even if he learns cross-over engineering skills, it’s doubtful he’d be allowed to work across those boundaries.  Navy Times

The huge shift was approved by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and had been advocated by the now retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens, who urged it as way to promote more cross-training and boost sailors’ post-service employment opportunity. It began by a directive from Mabus to find gender-neutral rating titles that stripped them of the word “man,” in an effort to be more inclusive to women sailors who make up an increasing size of the force.

In June, the Marine Corps — also under the Mabus edict — announced they’d take “man” out of 19 occupational titles, as well. The Navy’s newly released answer is to take a much more difficult and controversial approach by scrapping their existing system and starting over.

Sailors’s aren’t losing everything in their titles, however: the warfare qualifications that demonstrate mastery of their operational commands will remain.

The entire article can be read HERE.


I am sick and tired of this “man” and woman politically correct garbage.  This is simply another way for Obama and his minions to disrespect the military and create chaos where none existed.  It also is a way to justify spending huge amounts of taxpayer money on things which have no reason to be changed other than that some fool at the top wants more pocket money before leaving office.

Apparently not only will seaman titles change but there is also the additional expense of changing badges, testing including preparing new exams, and a dozen or so unknown or unforeseen obstacles.  As one blogger said – keep changing something that is not broken until it IS broken.  

It appears marines and eventually though not reported other branches have or can expect the same idiocy.

This is ridiculous, infantile, and unnecessary use of military time, effort, and appropriations in order to squander funds in an area of military that has nothing to do with the readiness of our military for protecting our shores.  Not only that but the Secretary of Navy is retiring this year.  Why create a vast headache on something which the next Secretary of Navy may not even accept?  Hopefully the next Secretary of Navy actually has more military training than two years of temporary service under his belt and a deeper respect for all things military rather than political partisanship.


About Uriel

Retired educator and constitutionalist
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9 Responses to Navy scuttles sailors’ enlisted rating titles in huge career shake-up

  1. captbogus2 says:

    That, “Petty Officer Joe Sailor,” has been coming for a long time with a lot of prompting from such shit shows as NCIS.
    Keep it up and soon none of the armed forces will be able to recruit.
    Maybe the left wants impress gangs?

  2. Hardnox says:

    Good post albeit very aggravating. This admin is hell bent on wrecking our military. It will take a long time to repair what these jerks have wrought.

    • Uriel says:

      I know. I honestly don’t have a problem with simple shift title but to totally create a whole new military entrance, exams, and ranking is idiocy. As to the cat’s tail whipped attitude of our current commander in chief and his closet friends , sorry closest friends. Yeah I have a serious problem. Allowing the military to spend thousands on trans changes – really? Lunacy. Allowing strange gear dressup is not just laughable but should be humiliating. Having religion kicked out of a soldier’s life is horrible. All, EVERY bit, of this is a direct result of Obama and his determination to destroy our country while making us vulnerable to invasion. I’m guessing these “tranies” would run screaming about their expensive operations in danger of being disrupted if they were attacked. Psychologically I do not see how these changes are good for fighting men and women to deal with in addition to the stress and danger of their jobs.

  3. Uriel says:

    possibly Given the drawdown and non enlistment stats, I really expect to see mandatory sign up again. In some cases that might not be such a bad thing. These safe spacers need a reality check but the military can’t be softies either.

  4. No doubt we are called the pussies in other nations.

  5. vonMesser says:

    I am a YEOMAN FIRST CLASS. I retired from the US Navy after 21 years on active duty – most as a YEOMAN (was a Communications Technician Interpreter [Russian] for a while, then changed ratings). I will always be a Yeoman. It will be on my tombstone at Willamette National Cemetery when I die. And those dildo-brained shits in Washington (District of Corruption) will never change that.

    My father joined the Navy in 1935. He retired in 1956 as a Chief Gunners Mate. Says so on his tombstone in the National Cemetery.

    My uncle has Pharmacist Mate – Korea on his stone.
    My favorite aunt has Storekeeper Third Class – Korea on her stone.
    Within the next year my mother will have Storekeeper First Class – WW2 on her stone.

    Maybe Trump will put a stop to this, but I am afraid he won’t. It’s probably a done deal.

    • Uriel says:

      It’s sickening to me Von. Beyond the disrespect of those who cherish their bars and stripes is the sure and certain knowledge that it is one more nail Obama is pushing into the fabric of the USA. Then there is the drain on needed funds to restock and restore the military at a time when strength not political correctness is more important.

  6. vonMesser says:

    If you’re gonna be buried in uniform, better make sure you get a copy of your trating badge now, before they are all taken back from the NEX and destroyed.