Navy Eliminating 241-Year-Old Rating System in New Enlisted Rank Overhaul

29 Sep

In a bit of unexpected irony, after spending a fair part of my summer reviewing and documenting the ratings earned by the crewmen of USS Tryon, I was somewhat surprised that today the Navy announced it is doing away with the 241-year-old rating system, in favor of a system that will allow more flexibility in duty assignments,  “inclusivity with respect to diversity,” gender neutrality,  and better training and experience for post-enlistment employment.   According to the Navy, the old rating system is outdated, with many of the current ratings being obsolete.   Navy will move from Rating Titles to alpha-numeric Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) codes.  The phase-in of the new system is expected to take place over a period of several years.   An explanation from the US Naval Institute article, “Navy Eliminating 241-Year-Old Rating System in New Enlisted Rank Overhaul” follows:



Washington, D.C. (April 27, 2006) – The five finalists in the Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year competition are pictured on the grounds of the Netherlands Carillon in Washington D.C. Pictured from left to right is Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aaron P. Clifford, Aviation Warfare System Operator 1st Class Robert F. Weber, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class David L. Worrell, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Richard F. George, and Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Todd P. Brooks. Hospital Corpsman 1st Class David L. Worrell was selected as the 2006 Reserve Sailor of the Year. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Michael Moriatis (RELEASED)

After more than 200 years, the Navy is making a fundamental change in how it will address its enlisted sailors, according to a notification on the new policy obtained by USNI News.

Starting today, the service will shelve the rating system it adopted from the U.K. Royal Navy, stop referring to sailors by their job titles and adopt a job classification in line with the Army, Marine Corps and the Air Force.

For example, under the new rules The Hunt for Red October character Sonar Technician Second Class Ronald “Jonesy” Jones – ST2 Jones for short – would be Petty Officer Second Class Jones or Petty Officer Jones. Machinist’s Mate First Class Jake Holman – MM1 Holman– from the novel and film The Sand Pebbles would be Petty Officer First Class Holman or Petty Officer Holman.

The change comes as Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has pushed the Department of the Navy to create gender-neutral titles for positions like rifleman and motorman.

(Read the rest of the article here)


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