Monthly Archives: October 2016

Working to undo a stupid idea

I signed a petition via OldNFO J.L. Curtis:

Restore the Traditional Navy Rating Specialty Titles Disestablished on 9/29/2016

For 241 Years Navy personnel have been identified by their Job specialty, known as a “Rating”. The oldest rates such as Boatswain Mates, and Gunners Mate predate the founding of this country. Being known by your job title was a sense of pride. A sign of accomplishment. The Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations just senselessly erased this tradition. One only has to visit Navy social media pages to see the disgust and outrage of current and former personnel. One by one current leadership continues to erode the very things that set the Navy apart from the other services. Mr. President, I and the others signing this petition request you use your authority to restore to our Sailors what they have earned.

Basically, a Petty Officer Third Class would normally have been referred to as Gunners Mate Third Class (or whatever their rating happened to be). Now they would just be Petty Officer Third Class. Tradition is a big deal in the Navy. You’d think they’d understand this.

Stars and Stripes mentions the petition and indicates that the brass is not thinking of changing their minds.

Interesting fact: Navy ID cards only give the rank, e.g. PO1 (for Petty Officer First Class), and not the rating. The reason for this is that the Geneva Conventions require that you present your ID card to the enemy upon capture, and you’re not supposed to tell them what your job is.