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United States Navy ratings are general occupation that consist of specific skills and abilities. Each naval rating has its own specialty badge, which is worn on the left sleeve of the uniform by each enlisted person in that particular field. Working uniforms, such as camouflage Battle Dress Uniforms, utilities, coveralls, and Naval Work Uniform, bear generic rate designators that exclude the rating symbol. Just as an officer has rank, not a rate, an officer's occupation (if drawn more narrowly than an officer of the line) is classified according to designators and professional staff corps. Ratings should not be confused with rate, which describe the Navy's enlisted pay-grades.

Enlisted sailors are referred to by their rating and rate. For example, if someone's rate is Petty Officer 2nd Class and his rating is Boatswain's Mate, then combining the two — Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (BM2) — defines both rate and rating in formal address or epistolary salutation.


The U.S. Navy's enlisted occupational system is a product of more than 200 years of Naval evolution. The Navy of the United Colonies of the 1775 era offered only a few different jobs above the ordinary level of seaman. These included Boatswain's Mate, Quartermaster, Gunner's Mate, Master-at-Arms, Cook, Armorer, and Coxswain. These were titles of the jobs that individuals were actually performing and became the basis for petty officers and ratings. During this time, ship crews were taken from civilian life and enlisted for only one cruise, thus making the job at hand rather than career possibilities the primary consideration. It was not until 1841 that distinguishing marks for a rating were prescribed in the Regulations of the Secretary of the Navy and specialty marks were not added to enlisted men’s uniforms until 1866. The marks consisted of the tools or instruments used in each rating's specific duty. The Master-at-Arms, the police officer of a ship, wore the star of authority and the Gunner’s Mate wore two crossed cannons. Currently, all specialty marks for new ratings are approved by the Permanent Naval Uniform Board which is a division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

As the Navy’s rating system has changed so has the Navy. The first steamship, mine, radar, torpedo, aircraft carrier, and many other “firsts” all established a new era in the Navy, and each directly impacted the enlisted occupation structure. During World War II, the Navy also briefly maintained a rating of Specialist, similar to the rank in the United States Army. The rating of Specialist was discontinued in 1948.

After more than 200 years of evolution, today’s Navy enlisted rating structure still plays a key role in career development, serves as a basis for training, detailing, advancement, and simply keeping tabs on several hundred thousand Navy Personnel.

Rating structure

The pay grades E-4 (Petty Officer Third Class) through E-9 (Master Chief Petty Officer) fall within the rating structure. It is further broken down into four types of ratings and classifications:
  • General ratings, which consist of broad occupational fields such as Electronics Technician, Machinist's Mate, or Machinery Repairman.
  • Service ratings, which are made up of sub categories of general ratings that require further specialized training and qualifications - Service ratings are established, changed, and removed depending on service requirements and changes in the way personnel are managed.
  • Navy Enlisted Classifications (NEC), which are numerical codes attached to a specific rating and are frequently used to indicate specialized qualifications and Emergency ratings.
  • Emergency ratings, which are specific ratings that can be established in time of war and are distinguished by a letter of the alphabet enclosed in a diamond.
In addition to getting the abbreviated rate, a second set of abbreviations are assigned to the rate to account for the personnel's rank. For example, a Boatswain's Mate has the abbreviation BM, and if the personnel was a Petty Officer Second Class which is a "2" abbreviation, then the personnel's rate would be BM2 (BM is the rate and the 2 is Petty Officer Second Class). The rank abbreviation is always added right after the rate abbreviation. The ranks are as followed:
  • 3 - Petty Officer Third Class
  • 2 - Petty Officer Second Class
  • 1 - Petty Officer First Class
  • C - Chief Petty Officer
  • CS - Senior Chief Petty Officer
  • CM - Master Chief Petty Officer


Insignia General rating Abbreviation Service rating Abbreviation
Aviation Boatswain's Mate AB (Launching & Recovery)
(Aircraft Handling)


Aviation Boatswain's Mates are responsible for aircraft catapults, arresting gear and barricades. They operate fuel and lube oil transfer systems, as well as direct aircraft on the flight deck and in hangar bays before launch and after recovery. They use tow tractors to position planes and operate support equipment used to start aircraft.
Air-Traffic Controller AC
Air-Traffic Controllers assist with the speedy flow of air traffic by directing and controlling aircraft. They operate field lighting systems and communicate with aircraft. They furnish pilots with information regarding traffic, navigation and weather conditions, as well as operate and adjust ground-controlled approach (GCA) systems and interpret targets on radar screens and plot aircraft positions.
Aviation Machinist's Mate AD
Aviation Machinist's Mates are usually assigned to billets concerned with the maintenance of turbo-jet aircraft engines and associated equipment. They are responsible for the maintenance and replacement of aircraft engines and accessories, as well as performing the duties of flight engineers.


I: ABE, ABF, and ABH combine at paygrade E-9 to the rating of Master Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (ABCM).
II: AM, AME, and AD combine at paygrade E-9 to the rating of Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman (AFCM).
III: AE and AT combine at paygrade E-9 to the rating of Master Chief Avionics Technician (AVCM).

Construction ratings

Aviation Electrician's Mate
Aviation Electrician's Mates are responsible for aircraft electrical power generating and converting systems. They maintain lighting, control, and indicating systems and can install as well as maintain flight and engine instrument systems.
Aerographer's Mate
Aerographer's Mates are the U.S. Navy's weather forecasters. They are trained in meteorology and the use of aerological instruments that monitor air pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed, and direction. They prepare weather maps and forecasts and can analyze atmospheric conditions to determine the best flight levels for aircraft. An AG can measure wind and air density to aid the accuracy of anti-aircraft firing, shore bombardment and delivery of weapons by aircraft.
Aviation Structural Mechanic
(Safety Equipment)
(Hydraulics and Structures)

Aviation Structural Mechanics are responsible for the maintenance of many aircraft parts such as wings, fuselage, tail, control surfaces, landing gear, and hydraulic systems. AME's maintain and repair oxygen, cockpit and cabin pressurization, and ejection seat systems.
Aviation Ordnanceman
Aviation Ordnancemen operate and handle aviation ordnance equipment. They are responsible for the maintenance of guns, bombs, torpedoes, rockets, and missiles. Their duties include the stowing, issuing, and loading of munitions and small arms.
Aviation Support Equipment Technician
Aviation Support Equipment Technicians perform intermediate maintenance on aviation accessory equipment at naval air stations and aboard aircraft carriers. They maintain gasoline and diesel engines, gas turbine compressor units and electrical systems.
Aviation Electronics Technician
Aviation Electronics Technicians are responsible for the maintenance of all aircraft radio, radar, and other rapid communications devices. They maintain all navigation equipment.
Aviation Warfare Systems Operator
(Operational Level) (Mechanical) (Avionics)(Sierra)(Romeo)
Aviation Warfare Systems Operators operate airborne radar and electronic equipment used in detecting, locating, and tracking submarines. They provide information for aircraft and surface navigation and act as helicopter-rescue crewmen, and function as part of the flight crew on long-range and intermediate-range aircraft. Beginning in 2009, other enlisted Aviation ratings that perform flight engineer or loadmaster duties in Navy aircraft will convert to the AW rating.
Aviation Maintenance Administrationman
Aviation Maintenance Administrationmen perform clerical, administrative, and managerial duties necessary to keep aircraft maintenance activities running smoothly. They schedule and coordinate the maintenance workload, including inspections and modifications to aircraft and equipment.
Aircrew Survival Equipmentman
Aircrew Survival Equipmentmen are responsible for the packing and care of parachutes. They maintain flight clothing, rubber life rafts, life jackets, oxygen-breathing apparatus, protective clothing, and air-sea rescue equipment.
General rating
Service rating
Navy builders are like civilian construction workers. They are skilled carpenters, plasterers, roofers, cement finishers, asphalt workers, masons, and painters. They build and repair all types of structures including: piers, bridges, towers, schools, offices, houses, and other buildings.
Construction Electrician
Construction Electricians are responsible for the power production and electrical work required to build and operate airfields, roads, barracks, and hospitals. The work of a CE is equivalent to civilian construction electricians, telephone and electrical repairmen, lineman, and others.
Construction Mechanic
Construction Mechanics maintain many types of construction machinery including; buses, dump trucks, bulldozers, rollers, cranes, backhoes, and pile drivers. They work on gasoline and diesel engines and transmissions. They also repair electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic and steering systems.
Engineering Aide
Engineering Aides provide construction engineers with information needed to develop final construction plans. They conduct surveys for roads, airfields, buildings, etc. They perform soil tests, prepare topographic and hydrographic maps. They also survey for sewer, water lines, drainage systems and underwater excavations.
Equipment Operator
Equipment Operators work with heavy machinery such as bulldozers, power shovels, pile drivers, etc. They use this machinery to dig ditches, excavate for building foundations, break up old concrete or asphalt paving and pour new paving. They grade and remove debris from construction sites, raise girders, and move and set in place other pieces of equipment or materials needed for the job.
Steelworkers rig and operate all special equipment used to move or hoist structural steel, structural shapes and similar material. They erect and dismantle steel bridges, piers, buildings, storage tanks, etc. They work with steel shapes, plates and built-up sections used in the construction of overseas facilities. They are skilled in arc welding, MIG welding, TIG welding, and gas welding.


I: BU, EA, and SW combine at paygrade E-9 to the rating of Master Chief Constructionman (CUCM).
II: CE and UT combine at paygrade E-9 to the rating of Master Chief Utilitiesman (UCCM).
III: CM and EO combine at paygrade E-9 to the rating of Master Chief Equipmentman (EQCM).

Administration, deck, medical, technical, and weapons specialty ratings

Utilitiesmen supervise and perform tasks involved in the installation and maintenance of plumbing, steam, compressed air and fuel storage and distribution systems. They maintain air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, as well as sewage collecting and disposal facilities.
General rating
Service rating
Boatswain's Mate
Boatswain's Mates train and supervise personnel in all activities relating to marlinspike, deck, and boat seamanship, and oversee the maintenance of the ship's external structure and deck equipment. They act as petty officers in charge of small craft and may perform duties as master-at-arms, serve in or take charge of gun crews, and damage control parties.
Culinary Specialist
Culinary Specialists prepare menus and order the quantities and types of food items. They operate kitchen and dining facilities, manage large facilities, keep records for food supplies and financial budgets, and can even serve as flight attendant aircrewmen. They can also serve as personal food service specialist, household/estate manager or chef for an admiral, the First Family, President of the United States at Camp Davidmarker and the White Housemarker, to the Vice President at Number One Observatory Circlemarker or for a commanding officer aboard ship or at shore bases. Ashore, Culinary Specialists often manage and maintain clubs, TAD hotels and Permananent Party naval barracks.
Cryptologic Technician


Cryptologic Technicians control the flow of messages and information and also conduct Electronic Warfare. Their work depends on their special branch: CTAs or Administration Cryptologic Technicians (As of 01 OCT 07 CTA merged with the YN rating) perform administrative and clerical duties that control access to classified material. CTIs or Interpretive Cryptologic Technicians handle radiotelephone communications and foreign language translation. CTMs or Maintenance Cryptologic Technicians maintain electronic and electromechanical equipment. CTNs or Networking Cryptologic Technicians handle computer communication. CTRs or Collection Cryptologic Technicians handle all Morse code communications and operate radio direction-finding equipment. Finally, CTTs or Technical Cryptologic Technicians deal with Electronic Warfare. CTTs are the first line of defense against inbound threats and Anti-Ship missiles. They also collect, analyze, and provide electronic intelligence support to commands throughout the world.
Electronics Technician
(Submarine Navigation)
(Submarine Communications)
(Nuclear Power)

Electronics Technicians are responsible for electronic equipment used to send and receive messages, detect enemy planes and ships, and determine target distances. They maintain, repair, and calibrate all electronic equipment used for communications, detection tracking, identification, and navigation. Electronics Technicians are employed onboard nuclear powered ships to maintain the control subsystems in nuclear reactors.
Fire Controlman
Fire Controlmen maintain the control mechanism used in weapons systems on combat ships. Complex electronic, electrical and hydraulic equipment is required to ensure the accuracy of Navy guided-missile and surface gunfire-control systems. They are responsible for the operation, routine care and repair of this equipment, which includes radars, computers, weapons direction equipment, target designation systems, gyroscopes and rangefinders.
Fire Control Technician
Fire Control Technicians maintain the electronic equipment used in submarine weapons systems. They are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the complex electronic, electrical and mechanical equipment required to ensure the accuracy of Navy guided-missile systems and underwater weapons. They are responsible for ship safety by recognizing and analyzing data from several critical systems including sonar, radar, pericsope, radio, and torpedo inputs. Fire Control Technicians are also responsible for the submarine's internal LAN system.
Gunner's Mate
Gunner's Mates operate and maintain all gunnery equipment, guided-missile launching systems, rocket launchers, guns, turrets, and associated equipment. They repair electrical, electronic, hydraulic and mechanical systems, and make detailed casualty analysis. They test ammunition, missiles and their ordnance components. GMs train and supervise personnel in the handling and stowage of ammunition, missiles, and assigned ordnance equipment.
Hospital Corpsman
Hospital Corpsmen are medical professionals who provide health care to service people and their families. They serve as pharmacy technicians, medical technicians, nurse's aides, physician's or dentist's assistants, battlefield medics, and more. All work falls into several categories: first aid and minor surgery, patient transportation, patient care, prescription and laboratory work, food service inspections, and clerical duties.
Intelligence Specialist
Intelligence Specialists are involved in collecting and interpreting intelligence especially secret information about enemies or potential enemies. They analyze photographs and prepare charts, maps, and reports that describe in detail the strategic situation all over the world.
Information Systems Technician
Information Systems Technicians design, install, operate, and maintain state-of-the-art informations systems. This technology includes local and wide area networks, mainframe, mini and microcomputer systems and associated peripheral devices. They also write programs to handle the collection, manipulation and distribution of data for a wide variety of applications and requirements. They perform the functions of a computer system analyst, operate telecommunications systems including automated networks and the full spectrum of data links and circuit.
Legalmen are trained legalaides who assist professionals in the field of law. They work in Navy legal offices, performing administrative and clerical tasks necessary to process claims, conduct court and administrative hearings. They maintain records, documents and legal reference libraries. Legalmen may give advice on tax returns, voter registration procedures, immigration and customs regulations, regulations governing Social Security and veterans' benefits. They perform many duties related to courts-martial and nonjudicial hearings.
Logistics Specialist
Storekeepers are the Navy's supply clerk. They see that needed supplies are available including everything from clothing and machine parts to forms and food. They have duties as civilian warehousemen, purchasing agents, stock clerks and supervisors, retail sales clerks, store managers, inventory clerks, buyers, parts clerks, bookkeepers and even fork lift operators.
Masters-at-Arms uphold law and order aboard ships, shore stations and deploy overseas with expeditionary forces and squadrons performing Antiterrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP) duties. The basic duty of an MA is to enforce rules and regulations, maintain good order and discipline, and protect life and property. Some other duties include conducting criminal investigations, personal protective services, take part in correctional and rehabilitative programs, Military Working Dog (MWD) handlers, small arms instruction, lethal and non-lethal weapons training, and organize and train sailors assigned to Shore Patrol police duty. Their equivalents in the civilian world are detectives and policemen.
Mass Communications Specialist
Mass Communications Specialists are public affairs and visual information experts. They present the U.S. Navy story to audiences in the Navy and to the rest of the world through a variety of media. Mass Communications Specialists write and produce print and broadcast journalism, news, and feature stories for military and civilian newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcast stations. They record still and video photography of military operations, exercises, and other Navy events.
Minemen test, maintain, and repair mines and their components. They are responsible for assembling, testing, and delivering mines to the planting agent. They maintain minehandling and minelaying equipment.
Missile Technician
Missile Technicians assemble, and maintain missiles carried by submarines. They maintain the specialized equipment used in these functions. Although missile components and related testing and handling equipment are primarily electronic, they also work with the mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic units in the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System, fire-control systems and missile flight control systems.
Musicians play in official Navy bands and special groups such as jazz bands, dance bands and small ensembles. They give concerts and provide music for military ceremonies, religious services, parades, receptions and dances. Official unit bands usually do not include stringed instruments, but each musician must be able to play at least one brass, woodwind or percussion instrument. Sailors are selected for this rating through auditions.
Navy Counselor
Navy Counselors offer vocational guidance to Navy personnel — individually and in groups — aboard ships and at shore facilities. They assess the interests, aptitudes, abilities and personalities of individuals and assist them in reaching their full potential. They are responsible directly to the command triumvirate (CO, XO, CMC) and report on many items such as retention, attrition, advancement, testing and various other facets of the career development program. Additionally, it is their keen eye and attention to detail that ensure personnel throughout the command are updated on current Navy policies in regards to career management, off duty education and administrative procedures, among various other responsibilities.
Operations Specialist
Operations Specialists operate radar, navigation and communications equipment in the shipboard combat information centers (CICs) or bridges. They detect and track ships, planes, and missiles. They operate and maintain identification friend or foe (IFF) systems, electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment and radio-telephones.
Postal Clerk
Postal Clerks operate the U.S. Navy's large postal system, and have similar duties to their civilian counterparts in the U.S. Postal Service. They send mail on its way, collect postage-due mail, prepare customs declarations, collect outgoing mail, and cancel stamps. They perform a variety of record-keeping and reporting duties, which include maintaining an up-to-date directory service and locater file.
Personnel Specialist
Personnel Specialists provide enlisted personnel with information and counseling about Navy jobs, opportunities for general education and training, and promotion requirements. They assist enlisted members' families with legal aid or reassignments in hardship situations. Personnel Specialists keep records up to date, prepare reports, type letters and maintain files.
Quartermasters assist the navigator and officer of the deck (OOD), steer the ship, take radar bearings and ranges, make depth soundings and celestial observations, plot courses and command small craft.
Religious Programs Specialist
Religious Programs Specialists assist Navy chaplains with administrative and budgetary tasks. They serve as custodians of chapel funds, keep religious documents and stay in contact with religious and community agencies. They prepare devotional and religious educational materials, set up volunteer programs, operate shipboard libraries, supervise chaplains' offices and perform administrative, clerical and secretarial duties. They train personnel in religious programs and publicize religious activities.
Special Warfare Boat Operator
Special Warfare Boat Operators drive fast speedboats down narrow, winding rivers, or the open ocean while performing high speed, medium range, or all weather insertion/extraction of Special Operations Forces. They participate in maritime interdiction operations, tactical swimmer operations, intelligence collection, operation deception, and Coastal patrol.
Ship's Serviceman
Ship's Servicemen manage barber shops, tailor shops, ships' uniform stores, laundries, dry cleaning plants and cobbler shops. They serve as clerks in exchanges, gas stations, warehouses, and commissary stores. Some ship's servicemen function as Navy club managers.
Storekeepers are the Navy's supply clerk. They see that needed supplies are available including everything from clothing and machine parts to forms and food. They have duties as civilian warehousemen, purchasing agents, stock clerks and supervisors, retail sales clerks, store managers, inventory clerks, buyers, parts clerks, bookkeepers and even fork lift operators.
Special Warfare Operator
Special Warfare Operators are Navy SEALs. They are trained to jump from airplanes at high altitudes and open their parachutes at low proximity to the earth into frigid waters. They jump from helicopters travelling 30 knots at 30 feet over the water with no parachute. In addition Special Warfare Operators oversee ocean-borne mine disposal, carry out direct action raids against military targets, conduct reconnaissance, and secure beachheads for invading amphibious forces.
Sonar Technician
Sonar Technicians are responsible for underwater surveillance. They assist in safe navigation and aid in search, rescue and attack operations. They operate and repair sonar equipment and jam enemy sonars. Sonar Technicians operate, maintain and repair sonar systems, antisubmarine warfare fire control equipment and other various equipment associated with underwater detection, counter-detection, warfare and communications.
Torpedoman's Mate
Torpedoman's Mates maintain underwater explosive missiles, such as torpedoes and rockets that are launched from surface ships, submarines and aircraft. They maintain launching systems for underwater explosives, and are responsible for shipping and storage of torpedoes and rockets.


I: Cryptologic Technician now includes former rating of Electronic Warfare Technician (EW).
II: Information Systems Technician now includes former rating of Cryptologic Technician - Communications (CTO).
III: Quartermaster QM now exists as Electronics Technician (Navigation) ETV on submarines.
IV: Torpedoman's Mate now exists as Machinist Mate MM on submarines.Torpedoman's Mate now merged with Gunners'Mates

Engineering and hull ratings

Yeomen perform secretarial and clerical work. They deal with visitors, telephone calls and incoming mail. They organize files and operate copy machines and order and distribute supplies. They write and type business and social letters, notices, directives, forms and reports.
General rating
Service rating
Damage Controlman
Damage Controlmen perform the work necessary for damage control, ship stability, fire-fighting. They also prepare defenses against chemical, biological and radiological warfare attacks. They instruct personnel in damage control and CBR defense and repair damage-control equipment and systems.
Electrician's Mate
Electrician's Mates are responsible for the operation and repair of a ship's or station's electrical power plant and electrical equipment. They also maintain and repair power and lighting circuits, distribution switchboards, generators, motors and other electrical equipment. Electrician's Mates are employed onboard nuclear powered ships to maintain the control subsystems in nuclear reactors.
Enginemen are responsible for internal diesel and gasoline engines. They also maintain refrigeration, air-conditioning, distilling-plant engines and compressors.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians locate, identify, render safe and dispose of all forms of ordnance (conventional, nuclear, chemical, biological, military, and improvised) both U.S.marker and foreign made. Parachute or Helicopter insertion and deep-sea diving capabilities are sometimes necessary to perform this mission. In addition to working closely with other military services, EOD technicians occasionally assist civilian law enforcement agencies.
Gas Turbine System Technician
Gas Turbine System Technician are responsible for all gas turbine engines. They maintain propulsion machinery, including gears, shafting and controllable pitch propellers, assigned auxiliary equipment propulsion control systems, electrical and electronic circuitry up to the printed circuit module, and alarm and warning circuitry. They handle administrative tasks related to gas turbine propulsion system operation and maintenance.
Hull Maintenance Technician
Hull Maintenance Technicians are responsible for maintaining ships' hulls, fittings, piping systems and machinery. They install and maintain all shipboard and shore based plumbing and piping systems. They look after a vessel's safety and survival equipment and perform many tasks related to damage control.
Interior Communications Electrician
Interior Communications Electricians operate and repair electronic devices used in the ship's interior communications systems, SITE TV systems, 1MC (public address system), electronic megaphones and other announcing equipment. They are responsible for the gyrocompass systems.
Machinist's Mate
Machinist's Mates are responsible for the continuous operation of the many engines, compressors, gears, refrigeration, and air-conditioning equipment along with other types of machinery onboard ships and shore installations. They are responsible for the ship's steam propulsion and auxiliary equipment and the outside (deck) machinery. Machinist's Mates are deployed onboard nuclear powered ships to maintain the machinery and piping in nuclear reactors.
Machinery Repairman
Machinery Repairmen are skilled machine tool operators. They make replacement parts and repair or overhaul a ship's engine auxiliary equipment, such as evaporators, air compressors and pumps. They repair deck equipment, including winches, hoists, condensers, and heat exchange devices. Shipboard Machinery Repairmen frequently operate main propulsion machinery, besides performing machine shop and repair duties.


I: The Navy has announced a merger of the DC, HT and MR ratings into Repair Technician (RT) is pending but has not announced a timeline.
II: IC and EM combine at paygrade E-9 to the rating of Master Chief Electrician's Mate (EMCM).

Discontinued and changed ratings

Navy Diver
Navy Divers are responsible for a wide variety of tasks like underwater ship maintenance, construction, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), and underwater rescue. They are assigned to Naval Special Warfare Units to provide diving technical expertise and supervisory support to all submersible operations.
General rating
Aviation Storekeeper
Merged into Storekeeper on 1 January 2003.
Aviation Structural Mechanic (Hydraulics)
Aviation Structural Mechanic (Structures)
Merged into Aviation Structural Mechanic on 1 March 2001.
Aviation Support Equipment Technician (Electrical)
Aviation Support Equipment Technician (Hydraulics and Structure)
Aviation Support Equipment Technician (Mechanical)


Merged into Aviation Support Equipment Technician on 1 March 1990.
Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technician
Merged into Aviation Electronics Technician on 1 January 1991.
Boiler Technician
Merged into Machinist's Mates on 1 October 1996.
Cryptologic Technician (Communications)Cryptologic Technician (Administration)
Merged into Information Systems Technician on 1 March 2006.Merged into Yeoman on 1 January 2009
Disbursing Clerk
Merged into Personnel Specialist on 1 October 2005.
Data Systems Technician
Merged into Electronics Technician and Fire Controlman on 1 October 1998.
Merged into Hospital Corpsman on 30 August 2005.
Electronic Warfare Technician
Merged into Cryptologic technician on 1 October 2003.
Merged into Mass Communication Specialist on 1 July 2006.
Merged into Mass Communication Specialist on 1 July 2006.
Mess Management Specialist
Changed to Culinary Specialist on 15 January 2004.
Ocean Systems Technician
Merged into Sonar Technician on 1 October 2005.
Postal Clerk
Merged into Logistics Specialist on 1 October 2009. Effective on 1 January 2010.
Merged into Personnel Specialist on 1 October 2005.
Photographers Mate
Merged into Mass Communication Specialist on 1 July 2006.
Merged into Logistics Specialist on 1 October 2009. Effective on 1 January 2010.

Navy Specialist/Emergency Ratings (1942-1974)

Emergency ratings may be established in time of war. World War II saw 22 Navy Specialist ratings and the Coast Guard used six additional Specialist ratings. The term Specialist evolved to Emergency Service Rating and finally to Emergency Rating in the 32 years of use. Emergency rating badges are distinguished by a letter of the alphabet enclosed in a diamond below the eagle. One example is Welfare & Recreation Leader, a "W" inside a diamond. This emergency rating most often worked with the chaplain. The rate was discontinued following World War II. For a number of years the chaplain's assistantwas a Yeoman with NEC 2525. The YN (2525) eventually became a full fledged rating in the present day Religious Program Specialist, RP.

Specialist System (1942-1948)

The rating of Specialist was created at all four petty officer grades just prior to World War Two. The peace time rating structure did not provide for all of the functions needed to accommodate the rapid expansion of the Navy and the need for special skills. A letter to the Secretary of the Navy dated 21 November 1941 from The Chief of the Bureau of Navigation recommended the Specialist rating. The Secretary of the Navy's endorsement is undated leaving a question as to the exact date of the establishment of the Specialist rating.

A circular letter dated 13 January 1942, conveyed the first four of the Specialist letter designators. Emergency rating badges are distinguished by a diamond with a letter of the alphabet inside the diamond which is below the eagle. One example is Welfare & Recreation Leader, a "W" inside a diamond. Additional letter designators were added with the total for the Navy reaching twenty-two Specialist categories most with sub-categories. The Coast Guard added six Specialist ratings, some with double letters, as Port Securityman (PS).

Specialist Ratings List (Used Navy and Coast Guard)

  • A
    • Athletic Instructor, 1942-1944
    • Physical Training Instructor, 1944-1948 (reclassified ESE 1948)
    • Airship Rigger, 1948-1955
    • Aircraft Carburetor Mechanic 1956-1959
  • B
    • Master At Arms (Shore) 1948-1954 (from Boatswain's Mate (M)
    • Stevedore 1958-1965 (to Boatswain's Mate)
  • C
    • Classification 1942-1942 (to EST Teacher, Selection Office Interviewer)
    • Classification Interviewer 1943-1948 (from EST, Selection Office Interviewer) (to PN Personnelman)
    • Chaplain's Assistant 1954-1965 (to YN Yeoman)
  • E
    • Recreation and welfare Assistant 1945-1948 (to ESW, Welfare and Recreation Leader)
    • Motion Picture Service (Booker) 1945-1948 (to ESU, Booker (Motion Picture Service)
    • Physical Training Instructor 1948-1965 (from Specialist A)
  • F
    • Fire Fighter 1944-1965 (to DC, Damage Controlman)
  • G
    • Gunnery Instructor 1942-1943
    • Gunnery Instructor (Skeet Shooter) 1942-1943
    • Special Gunnery Instructor (Aviation) 1942-1943
    • Aviation Free Gunnery Instructor 1943-1948 (to TD, Tradevman)
    • Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Instructor 1944-1948 (to TD, Tradevman)
  • H
    • Harbor Defense Sonarman 1959-1965
  • I
    • IBM Operator 1942-1942
    • International Business Machine (IBM) Operator 1942-1943
    • Punched Card Accounting Machine Operator 1943-1946 (to MA, Machine Accountant)
    • Electric Accounting Machine Operator 1943-1946 (to MA, Machine Accountant)
    • Tabulating Machine Operator 1943-1946 (to MA, Machine Accountant)
    • Instructor (Miscellaneous) 1948-1965 (from Specialist T, to Boatswain's Mate)
  • K
    • Chemical Warfareman 1948-1955 (to DC, Damage Controlman)
    • Telecommunications Censorship Technician 1957-1972
    • Information Security Specialist 1972-1974
    • M Mail Clerk 1942-1944
    • Fleet Mail Clerk (Postal Employee) 1942-1944 (to Mailman)
    • Underwater Mechanic 1948-1965
  • O Inspector of Naval Material 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
    • Ordnance Inspector 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
    • Engineering Inspector 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
    • Petroleum Technician 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
  • P
    • March of Time Photographer 1942-1942
    • Photographer 1942-1944
    • Photographic Specialist 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH Aviation Photographers Mate, PH **Photographer, LI Lithographer)
    • Motion Picture Technician 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH Aviation Photographers Mate, PH **Photographer, LI Lithographer)
    • Laboratory 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
    • Photogammetry 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
    • V-Mail 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
    • Photogammetry Assistant 1948-1960
  • Q
    • Communications Security 1943-1943
    • Communications Specialist 1943-1946
    • Cryptanalyst 1943
    • Radio Intelligence 1943
    • Technician 1943
    • Cryptologist 1943
    • Registered Publications Clerk 1944
    • Cryptographer 1946-1948 (to CT, Communications Technician)
  • R
    • Recruiter 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
    • Transportationman 1948-1965 (from Specialist X, to SK Storekeeper and DK Disbursing Clerk)
  • S
    • Entertainer 1942-1942
    • Shore Patrol 1942-1943
    • Shore Patrol and Security 1943-1948 (to ESS Shore Patrolman)
    • Specialist S (V-10) Master at Arms (Wave) 1943-1943
    • Personnel Supervisor (V-10) 1943-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
    • Shore Patrolman 1948-1954
  • T
    • Teacher 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
    • Teacher (Draftsman) 1943-1944 (to Specialsit X Engineering Draftsman)
    • Teacher (Firefighter) 1943-1943
    • Fire Fighting Instructor 1942-1943 (to Specialist F Fire Fighter)
    • Teacher (Recognition) 1943-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
    • Teacher (Jam Handy V-10) 1943-1944 (to Specialist G Aviation Free Gunnery Instructor V-10)
    • Teacher (Selection Office Interviewer) 1942-1943 (from Specialist C Classification, to **Specialist C (Classification and Interviewer)
    • Teacher (Control Tower Operator V-10) 1943-1943 (to Specialist Y Control Tower Operator)
    • Teacher (Illiteracy Program) 1944-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
    • Teacher (Link Trainer Instructor) 1943-1948 (to TD Tradevman)
    • Teacher (Link Celestial Navigation Trainer Instructor) 1943-1948 (to TD Tradevman)
    • Teacher (Mk 1 Machine Gun Trainer) 1942-1944 (to Special Artificer D (MG))
    • Teacher (Pigeon Trainer) unknown to 1943 (to Specialist X Pigeon Trainer)
    • Teacher (Visual Training Aids) 1943-1944 (to Specialist X (Visual Training Aids)
    • Teacher (Topographic Draftsman unknown to 1944 (to Specialist X (Topographic Draftsman)
    • Service School Instructor 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
    • Instructor 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
    • Recruit Instructor 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
    • Transportation Airman 1948-1957 (from Specialist V Transport Airman)
  • U
    • Utility (V-10 Stewardess) 1943-1943
    • Utility (V-10) (discontinued 1944)
    • Booker (Motion Picture Service) 1948-1965
  • V
    • Transport Airman 1943-1948 (to EST Transportation Airman, AC Air Controlman, AD, Aviation **Machinist's Mate, AK Aviation Storekeeper)
    • Aviation Pilot 1948-1962 (Chief, First and Second Class only)
  • W
    • Welfare (Chaplain's Assistant) 1942-1946
    • Welfare (Duty with Chaplains)
    • Welfare (Assistant to the Office of the Chaplain)
    • Welfare and Recreation Leader 1948-1965
  • X
    • Specialist (Not Elsewhere Classified) 1943-1948
    • Specialist 1948-1961 (to ESX)
    • Air Stations Operations Desk - Time Shack 1943-1948 (to AC Air Controlman)
    • Archivist 1945-1961
    • Armed Service Radio Service and Special Navy Radio Units 1945-1948 (to ESX Radio Broadcasting Technician)
    • Artist (1945-1961
    • Ballistics 1945-1948 (to ESX Ballistics Test Analyst)
    • Bombing Trainer Instructor (V-10) 1945-1946?
    • Cable Censor 1945-1947? (to ESK Telecommunications Censorship Technician)
    • Cartographer 1943-1948 (to DM Draftsman)
    • Crystal Grinder 1945-1961
    • Discharge Interviewer 1945-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
    • Engineering Draftsman 1943-1948 (to DM Draftsman)
    • Fingerprint Expert 1945-1961
    • Gage Specialist 1945-1961
    • Intelligence Duties 1944-1948 (to ESX Naval Intelligence Specialists 1948-1961)
    • Interpreter 1945-1948 (to ESX Linguist 1948-1961)
    • Journalist 1945-1948 (to JO Journalist)
    • Key Punch Operator and Supervisor 1944-1948 (to MA Machine Accountant)
    • Naval Correspondent 1945-1948 (to JO Journalist)
Operations - Plotting and Chartwork 1943-1948 (to ESX Chart Clerk 1948-1961 and AC Air Controlman)
    • Passenger Transportation 1945-1948 (to ESR Transportationman)
    • Pigeon Trainer 1943-1961
    • Plastics Expert 1943-1961
    • Position Classifier 1945-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
    • Public Information 1945-1948 (to JO Journalist)
    • Research Laboratory 1945-1948 (to ESX Laboratory Technician)
    • Special Projects 1945-1948 (to ESX Ordnance Projects Technician)
    • Strategic Services 1945-1948 (to ESX Special Projects OSS 1948-1961)
    • Telephone Switchboard Operator and Supervisor 19443-1948 (to ESX Switchboard Operator 1948-1961)
    • Topographic Draftsman 1943-1948 (to DM Draftsman)
    • Visual Training Aids 1943-1948 (to ESX Model Maker 1948-1961)
    • Agriculture Worker 1948-?
    • Excavation Foreman 1948-? (from CMCBE Carpenter's Mate Construction Battalion Excavation Foreman)
    • Fisherman 1948-?
    • Inspector of Naval Material 1948-? (from Specialist O Inspector of Naval Material)
    • Librarian 1948-?
    • Motion Picture Technician 1948-1961 (from Specialist P Motion Picture Technician)
    • Petroleum Production Man 1948-?
    • Powderman 1948-? (from GMCBP Gunner's Mate Construction Battalion Powderman)
  • Y
    • Control Tower Operator 1943-1948 (to AC Air Controlman)

Specialist Ratings List (Used by Coast Guard Only)

  • D
    • Dog - Horse Handler 1943-1951 (some sources refer to rating as Dog Patrol)
  • Z
    • Tanker Loading Inspector 1957 - ? (to PS Port Securityman)
  • CW
    • Chemical Warfareman 1943-?
  • PR
    • Public Relations 1943 - ?
  • PS
    • Port Security Patrolman 1943- ? (to PS Port Securityman)
  • TR
    • Transportationman 1943 - ?

Emergency Service Rating System (1948-1957)

A major revision of Navy ratings in 1948 replaces the Specialist with Emergency Service Rating (ESR). Although, many changes are made in the new ESR structure, the diamond with letter is retained. The Specialist Welfare (Chaplain's Assistant) (W) becomes Emergency Service Welfare & Recreation Leader (ESW) All personnel holding an ESR are to be members of the Naval Reserve subject activation only in time of nation emergency.

Letters are reused as needed. In example, the diamond B, a Master at Arms (Shore) from 1948 to 1954, is a Stevedore from 1958 to 1965.

Emergency Rating System (1957-1974)

The Emergency Service Rating (ESR) is renamed Emergency Rating (ER) and the number of ratings greatly reduced in the conversion of ratings between 1957 and 1964. By 1965 all Emergency Ratings are abolished with the exception of Telecommunications Censorship Technician - ESK. In 1972, the ESK rating is reclassified as Information Security Specialist and is disestablished in 1974.

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Navy.

External links

Disestablished on 4 November 2003.

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