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- This article is about the Royal Navy rate. For the equivalent rank in other navies, see leading seaman.
Leading rating (or leading rate) is the most senior of the junior rates in the Royal Navy. It is equal in status to corporal although as the Royal Navy is the "Senior Service", a leading rate, of any branch CAN take charge of corporals of any of the other two services. The rate was introduced under the authority of Admiralty Circular No. 121 of 14 June 1853.
Leading ratings are normally addressed as "Leading Hand" or using their branch title e.g. Leading Seaman, Leading Regulator etc.
The insignia worn by leading rates is a single fouled anchor on the left arm, when in dress uniform, No.2's or "Tropics". The left arm also, of the sailor's white front (before the introduction of short sleeved shirts for all rating) or overalls. Until recently, 2017, a "hook" was worn on each shoulder epaulette, when in working rig, woolly pully or burberry. This was before the introduction of the new uniforms with the single insignia in the chest centre. This led to the slang term killick or hooky used in reference to this rate.
- Perkins, Dave. "Royal Navy Branches, Ranks and Ratings, 1918". www.pbenyon.plus.com. Retrieved 15 May 2017.