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The Navy’s Ratings Changes Won’t Happen Overnight
The Navy has released a timeline for its Enlisted Rating Modernization plan, which led to widespread confusion about how it would be implemented, emphasizing that changes will be phased in gradually over a number of years.
“While there is rarely a right or perfect time to roll out a plan as significant and ambitious as this rating modernization effort, I firmly believe this change needs to occur, and now is the right time to do so,” Vice Adm. Robert Burke, chief of Naval Personnel, said in a statement Sunday.
The Navy’s plan to implement these changes is a six-phase approach. Since it announced the changes late last month, the Navy has begun to implement phase one, which includes identifying cross-community occupation opportunities, career field groupings and developing links to civilian career fields.
Phase two, which sees drastic changes to the Navy’s business practices, will include reviews of and revisions to the Navy’s advancement system, recruiting, and pay processes. That phase will run through 2018.
Other changes will be reflected through updated policies and instructions, IT solutions and updated uniform insignia.
“The Navy’s working group on this project will be significantly expanded in the coming months to ensure you [sailors] have a voice,” a Navy statement said. “While we have a good path forward, it will take several years to make all the changes to policies and IT systems that currently rely on rating titles and support the way the Navy does business today.”
The Navy’s recent decision to abandon its enlisted ratings system is unpopular with many sailors who feel the changes disregard centuries of the service’s history. An internet petition posted to whitehouse.gov demanding the return of the traditional rating system had more than 74,000 signatures as of Monday.
The new system groups enlisted sailors into broad occupational specialties, similar to the Army and Marine Corps’ military occupational specialties and the Air Force’s Air Force Specialty Code systems.
Enlisted sailors will also be addressed only by their attained military rank, similar to how servicemembers in the other military branches are recognized.
Sailors in paygrades E-1 through E-3 will be addressed as seaman. Those in pay grades E-4 through E-6 will be called petty officer 3rd class, 2nd class and 1st class, respectively. Sailors in the senior enlisted pay grades of E-7 through E-9 will be addressed as chief, senior chief or master chief.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus had ordered the review of Navy titles in January as part of the plan to open all positions to women.
Stars and Stripes reporter Chris Church contributed to this report.
© 2016 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
While the U.S. military wants to keep roughly 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban's deputy leader has just made clear that his group wants all U.S. service members to leave the country as part of any peace agreement.
"The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand," Sirajuddin Haqqani wrote in a story for the New York Times on Thursday.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."
A video has emerged showing a U.S. military vehicle running a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria after it tried to pass an American convoy.
Questions still remain about the incident, to include when it occurred, though it appears to have taken place on a stretch of road near the Turkish border town of Qamishli, according to The War Zone.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
Survival expert and former Special Air Service commando Edward "Bear" Grylls made meme history for drinking his own urine to survive his TV show, Man vs. Wild. But the United States Air Force did Bear one better recently, when an Alaska-based airman peed in an office coffee maker.
While the circumstances of the bladder-based brew remain a mystery, the incident was written up in a newsletter written by the legal office of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on February 13, a base spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.