U.S. Navy Reverses Course– Nevermind, You Are Still a Boatswain’s Mate Third Class

In the end of September, the U.S. Navy announced that it would be eliminating the rating system that they had used for the past 241 years in the ranks of enlisted sailors.  The old system, which used 91 ratings, would be abolished.  A Fire Controlman 1st Class and a Machinist’s Mate First Class would both be referred to simply as Petty Officers 1st Class.  While the admirals may have thought that this was a good idea, no one else apparently did. Earlier this week, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said essentially, “Nevermind. We’ll stick with the old system for now,” or words to that effect. Specifically, the NAVADMIN message, said, in part:

Since we made the initial rating modernization announcement in September, 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 detracted from accomplishing our major goals.  Furthermore, there has been a solid body of thoughtful input that pointed out that there is a way to have the benefits of the rating modernization program without removing rating titles.

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5 Responses to U.S. Navy Reverses Course– Nevermind, You Are Still a Boatswain’s Mate Third Class

  1. ws says:

    Boiler Tech Rating is now Machinist Mate MM.

    -Whiskey Tango Foxtrot


  2. David says:

    @ WS The USN has eliminated steam propulsion so there is no need for BT’s

    There are a few Merchant Ships running that are steam powered (I should know I’m standing watch in the E/R of one right now)

  3. Rick Spilman says:

    Aren’t all nuclear powered ships in fact, steam ships? Just a different and nasty boiler.

  4. David says:

    @Rick: Yes they are, but as you point out they are not powered by an oil fired boiler (interestingly the USN fired its main propulsion boilers with JP-5 not bunker oil), so there is no need for Boiler Techs, and the only nuclear powered Merchant Ship was designated NU not SS

  5. DMS says:

    Sounds like a very gracious about face.