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Leading rating (or leading rate) is the most senior of the junior rates in the Royal Navy. It is equal in status to corporal, as the Royal Navy is the "Senior Service" and oldest service. Leading Rates are permitted entry to and full use of corporals' messes, when visiting the other services' bases. 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 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.