From:  Nancy Smoyer

   Dated:  December 22, 2016

Subject:  The Fleet Speaks, the Admirals Listen

Ken,
Is there any way to summarize this to a non-sailor?
Nancy


    From:  Michael Groucher

   Dated:  December 23, 2016

Subject:  The Fleet Speaks, the Admirals Listen

Democracy at work!  Rare indeed - especially in the services!
Michael


    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  December 25, 2016

Subject:  This is the message I was trying to send

Today, all too often, military leadership are politicians and politically correct rather than thinking clearly.  Once in a while an outcry from the ranks will be heard and heeded, but I fear the same nonsense will crop up again and again in the future until it becomes reality.
Steve


    From:  Tom Herlacher

   Dated:  December 25, 2016

Subject:  This is the message I was trying to send

Getting rid of the ratings system was such a dumb idea.   I'm surprised that even the admirals didn't see that from the git go.

AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Nancy Smoyer

   Dated:  December 25, 2016

Subject:  This is the message I was trying to send

Thanks for the great explanation, Ken.

Nancy

Navy Ratings

The Fleet Speaks, the Admirals Listen

December 2016

    From:  Bob Peetz

   Dated:  December 23, 2016

Subject:  The Fleet Speaks, the Admirals Listen

It’s a new Navy, and with the current trend to not offend those in uniform, things have gotten strange.  And then there is political correctness.  The heritage of the Army & Navy go back to the days of the Revolutionary War and today’s leaders suddenly think that not offending the new entrants into today’s  military is more important than correcting wasteful spending in the Pentagon. And then there is political correctness.  The Navy Rate & Rating System uses words like: AirMAN, SeaMAN & FireMAN which have been deemed offensive.  And then there are ratings like:  GunnersMATE & BoatswainMATE that don’t sit well with some.
So here’s a description of the whole thing and there is a link at the end if you are still interested. But remember the traditions of the Navy go back 250 years.
Winds, Bob


Rating Structure

The U.S. Navy rating structure is confusing to most people outside the organization.   A brief overview of Navy enlisted rate and ratings follows.  Two similar sounding terms are used to describe Navy enlisted status - rate and rating.  Rate equates to military pay grade and rating is one's occupational specialty.  Petty officer third class (PO3) is a rate.  Boatswain Mate is a rating.  Used in combination, Boatswain Mate Third Class (BM3), defines both the rate, petty officer third class, and rating Boatswain Mate.
Rate or rank?
Rate, such as First Class Petty Officer, describes the Navy enlisted pay grade E-6.   Officers do not have rates but are said to have rank.  Lieutenant (rank) describes a Naval officer of pay grade O-3. The officer's occupational specialty is described in a numerical code.
Rating
A Navy rating is defined as an occupation that consists of specific skills and abilities.  Each rating has its own specialty badge which is worn on the left sleeve by all qualified men and women in that field.  In the Navy and Coast Guard, pay grades E-4 through E-9 fall within a rating and reflect a distinct level of achievement within the promotion pyramid.
Pay Grade
Mostly the same as the the other barnches - E1 thru E9, W1 thru W5, O1 thru O10
Reference
https://bluejacket.com/usn_ratings.html

Several months prior to this posting, the Navy decided to do away with its ratings system. 

The reaction from those with ratings was rather strong. 

Here is the result.



  From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  December 22, 2016

Subject:  The Fleet Speaks, the Admirals Listen

Article from the Times for December 20, 2016.

Click Here


    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  December 24, 2016

Subject:  The Fleet Speaks, the Admirals Listen

Well, Nancy,
A couple of months back some Pentagon “thinkers” thought it would be a good idea to take away more than 200 years of tradition and do away with Navy rates.  Traditionally a sailor might be a Boatswain’s Mate third class (BM3 ? E4) or a Gunner’s Mate First Class (GM1 ? E-6).  The new rule would have done away with linking one’s pay grade to one’s job specialty.  That would have lumped all Navy enlisteds into a single system.  That BM3 would be just a Petty Officer Third Class, PO3.  That GM1 would be just a Petty Officer First Class, PO1. 
The brains said it would make it easier for civilian employers to evaluate the military skills and training of discharged sailors.
However, every Petty Officer already has that kind of evaluation tool.  Ours are called Navy Enlisted Codes, or NECs.  When I left the Navy I had several.  One said I had been a recruiter.  Another identified me as a broadcaster.  One said I was trained in the electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic systems associated with heavy gun systems.  One said I had spent time maintaining personnel records.  Then there’s that one mumbling something about having been trained in maneuvering small boats and learned how to tear down and rebuild GM 6V 58 diesel engines.
The Army, Air Force, and Marines all have a similar system.
I left the Navy as a Journalist Chief ? JOC.  The change would have made me a Chief Petty Officer ? CPO, and indistinguishable from every other E-7 in the Navy.  If a potential employer wanted to hire a Journalist, my Journalist Chief credentials were clear the minute I showed her my DD-214.  Not so much if it just said I was a Chief Petty Officer.
Another holy grail sought by the Pentagon was what they referred to as flexibility.  They said it would be easier to move people from one assignment to another.  OK, so how many Torpedomen does an aircraft carrier need?  We can already move Electrician’s Mates as we need them from ship to ship, so long as we make sure the people being moved have the requisite mental and physical qualifications.
Nope, the fleet spoke and the brain trust listened.
Ken