Reversal of Course

22 Dec
CNO, MCPON Discuss Rating Modernization Update

WASHINGTON (Dec. 21, 2016) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano discuss the recent rating modernization update during an all-hands call in the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Huey D. Younger Jr./Released)

In September I expressed my surprise that the Navy was dropping it’s 241-year-old rating system in favor of new 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.  So I was even more surprised this week when, on 21 December, the Navy made a very uncharacteristic reversal of direction on this topic:

“On Dec. 21, the Navy announced that effective immediately, Sailors may continue to be addressed by their Rating Titles.

“Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson, with the support of Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steve Giordano, made the announcement in NAVADMIN 283/16.

“Our Navy needs to be a fast-learning organization – that includes Navy leadership,” Richardson wrote in the NAVADMIN. “The Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority states that our most junior teammate may have the best idea and that we must be open to capturing that idea. We have learned from you, and so effective immediately, all rating names are restored.”

“The SECNAV, MCPON and I, along with other Navy leadership, have had the opportunity to speak with thousands of Sailors during our travels throughout the fleet. The feedback from current and former Sailors has been consistent that there is wide support for the flexibility that the plan offers, but the removal of rating titles was unnecessary and detracted from accomplishing our major goals.”

“The rating modernization working group will continue its work on the substantive portion of the rating modernization effort.”

Read more here.

Enlisted sailors, who reacted strongly to the initial change, were happy to see ratings return: The reaction on social media was almost instantaneous and mostly positive, ranging from “good call,” to “leave tradition alone.”
Sailors around the fleet joined in the chorus.

You can read more of their response   here..


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