The Navy’s Ratings Changes Won’t Happen Overnight

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 stands by for a Service Dress Blues inspection in preparation for the seasonal uniform switch.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erick S. Holmes

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.

Related: The Navy Is Doing Away With Traditional Ratings For ‘Seamen’ »

“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 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.

(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.

Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during an event with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Pratt Industries, Sunday, Sept 22, 2019, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.

Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.

Read More Show Less
"It's kind of like the equivalent of dropping a soda can into canyon and putting on a blindfold and going and finding it, because you can't just look down and see it," diver Jeff Goodreau said of finding the wreck.

The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.

Read More Show Less
(CIA photo)

Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.

Read More Show Less

The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.

Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."

That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.

Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.

Read More Show Less