Talk:List of United States Navy enlisted rates

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Notes[edit]

Firstly, rate applies to the paygrade of the enlisted member, i.e. an E-4 is a Petty Officer Third Class. Rating is the occupational specialty, i.e Aviation Electronics Technician, combining the rate and rating gives you Aviation Electronics Technician Third Class (AT3). For the most part fleet usage will almost always refer to the combined rate and rating as just rate for simplicity. (Whats his rate? Oh, he's a BM2...)

Secondly, the graphic showing the insignia for the various rates is wrong. Good conduct is achieved after 12 years of honorable service (no NJP, court-martial or such), which means under the current system it would be impossible for a third class sailor to reach twelve years of service since they would be forced out of the navy usually at the six year mark unless they had extenuating circumstances. In any case their term of servuice would end most likely in their seventh or eighth year of service. -unsigned anon user

  • I have seen a 3rd Class with Gold Stripes. They were manning the desk of a BOQ in the Seattle Washington region. What would be improbable (but not impossible), would be for the MCPON to have red stripes. You don't hold that job without a spotless record. -Husnock 16:39, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I ain't saying you didn't see it, but "unsigned anon" is right- you won't see a 12-year PO3 who hasn't been busted. Maybe, just maybe, some strange combo of active and reserve service.

I realize this is pushing the boundaries of acceptable quantity of graphics on a single page, but take into account please that each graphic is under 1k bytes (with 2 or 3 exceptions).


I thought that enlisted Naval personel -- at least in the USA, have a "rating" instead of a "rank." Yet this article uses the word rank. Can someone explain? Slrubenstein

See Naval rating - Wguynes 23:19, May 12, 2004 (UTC)

And yet, the USN's web-page says, "The use of the word "rank" for Navy enlisted personnel is incorrect. The term is "rate." The rating badge is a combination of rate (pay grade, as indicated by the chevrons) and rating (occupational specialty, as indicated by the symbol just above the chevrons)." http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ranks/rankrate.html Which is why I am still confused. Slrubenstein

Truth is that Rate and Rating really are tied together. The lower of the two is worn. If one is rated for BM2 (Second Class Botswain's Mate), but has not met the requirements for E5 promotion, one will (usually) wear the E4 chevron, and be treated as a BM3, although might be assigned non-supervisory tasks as a BM2... About the only occasion I've ever heard of for higher pay grade than worn rate is for persons still in service after their rating has been closed, and they are not qualified in the duties of the rating to which they would be transfered. Rank, for general purposes, refers to pay grade, or the navy term Rate.

Worse still is SMSN and other "qualified seamen" and apprentices. They have a rating mark above their Seaman's stripes... I have seen many, known several. As far as I can tell, it's pretty much A-school graduates.

Oh, and the DOD documents I've seen list the combined rating (specialty and grade) as the rank.

Wfh 08:22, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Ugh...[edit]

Firstly the graphic for the MCPON rating badge needs to be changed. There should be a star in place of his rating (in this case a BM's rating) which is clearly depcited in MCPON Terry Scott's official photo.

Secondly when talking about 'being rated as a BM2 but not meeting requirements for promotion' just say that the candidate was Passed Not Advanced on his exam. Obviously if they PNA their exam they will remain a third class having been found 'qualified' by examination but not meeting the requirements for advancement due to available billets.

Thirdly, a third class with gold chevrons is not possible in the current navy. The regulations clearly state that the service member must make second class or be forced out of the navy long before he would reach the 12 year good conduct mark. Even if the sailor in question had 'been a second and in for 14 years but got busted down' this would make him inelligible for gold chevrons.

Fourth, wearing a rating above seaman, airman, constructionman or dental/hospitalman stripes is authorized provided the candidate passed A-school. An undesignated striker wears the appropriate badge above his stripes, while a designated striker (succesful A-school graduate or PNA on an advancement exam) wears that particular ratings badge.

Best.


Yes, the time in service regs preclude gold stripes for E4's in general circumstances. (There are some odd situations which could result in 12 year E4's, like air-force transferees, who lost a stripe in switching service; I've met several 12 year good conduct E5's in the USAF.)
Likewise, the MCPON will NEVER be in red stripes... and I've never seen nor heard of MCPOs without their gold stripes, but in theory, it could happen.
Wfh 07:05, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Minor Error corrected[edit]

Rating marks are not worn on collar insignia nor any working uniform.

Bold text deleted, since working uniforms have and will continue to bear rating marks on sleeve insignia. Here's the cite

Replacing the bell-bottomed dungaree pants, for E-6 and below, will be a 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton-blend uniform consisting of dark blue straight-leg trousers and a chambray shirt. Names, warfare insignia and rating badges will be embroidered tapes sewn to the shirt and trousers. The new uniform will be tailored like the current chief petty officers’ khaki uniform, with straight-leg trousers. The new-style utility uniform transition period will begin Jan. 1, 1999. [1]

Wfh 06:54, 24 May 2006 (UTC)


Actually, rating marks aren't on working uniforms... I should know, I've been wearing 'em for 14 years ;-) Supersquid 03:08, 12 June 2006 (UTC)


Cleaning up and image corrections[edit]

This article needs some rearranging... at least in my opinion. I'm thinking about subdividing the info, starting with into, discussing E-1 through E-3, then E-4 through E-6, then E-7 through E-9, then talking about the Senior Enlisted Advisors (Command/Fleet/Force/MCPON). Or something like that.

Also, the image for CMC is incorrect. CMCs have silver stars, Fleet and Force Master Chiefs have gold stars. Fleet and Force MCPOs are rare but not unique... squadrons and groups have a FORCM, while FLTCM are the senior enlisted advisors for fleets (lol duh) and regional task forces.

I'm somewhat new to editing Wikipedia, so I do need some advice and help before I do more than minor editing :-)

Supersquid 16:25, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I think your doing a pretty good job. The image I used for the CMC is from the DOD Enlisted Insignia webpage. If I understand your comment above, there are two E-9 rates above CMCPO and below MCPON called Fleet/Force Command Master Chief Petty Officer, and that the CMCPO insignia is only different than the one I added by star colour?
So for E-9 (top down), would this be correct:
  1. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) – three gold stars, and a gold star as rating symbol – only one in the Navy.
  2. Fleet Command Master Chief Petty Officer (FLTCM) – two gold stars, and a gold star as rating symbol – one per fleet. (how many is that?)
  3. Force Command Master Chief Petty Officer (FORCM) – two gold stars, and a gold star as rating symbol – one per squadron/group. (how many is that?)
  4. Command Master Chief Petty Officer (CMCPO) – two silver stars, and a silver star as rating symbol – one per large ship. (how large a ship?)
  5. Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO) – two silver stars, and a rating symbol.
What (if any) difference is their between the insignia of a FLTCM/FORCM?
Does a ship with a FLTCM/FORCM have a separate CMCPO?
Am I correct in my assumption that you cannot get above MCPO (#5) without having gold stripes? (the DOD images imply that you have gold stripes by E-7 (CPO))
MJBurrageTALK • 16:43, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the words of encouragement... I try hard :-)
As for MCPON/FORCM/FLTCM, they aren't "above" MCPO per se... They are all considered Master Chiefs (E-9) for pay and allowances (although, according to 2006 pay tables, For the MCPO of the Navy, CMSgt of the AF, Sergeant Major of the Army, Marine Corps or Senior Enlisted Advisor of the JCS, basic pay is $6499.50.) They are considered Senior Enlisted Advisors, directly under the commanding officer/flag officer within their command, and are the main liason between officers and enlisted. They're supposed to be like a 'father figure' to the junior personnel. They do hold positional authority over all enlisted within their command, though... even fellow master chiefs with more time in. But that's positional authority, and it refers mostly to issues within their respective commands (except for the MCPON, who's command IS the entire Navy).
There's no difference in insignia between Fleet and Force; however, they do wear a badge on their left shirt pocket, with their title (either Fleet, Force, or Command) stamped on it.([2])
For numbers... one per command. They are the HMFIC for enlisteds lol! As for the FLT/FOR issue... it's a bit different. At fleet/force level, you're talking about multiple ships under a flag officer (either some flavor of admiral or commodore), with a full command staff, which includes a senior enlisted advisor. So, if a strike group is underway, the flagship will hold both the ship's CMC and the strike group's CMC.
I've seen many Chiefs and above with red stripes. If you make rate each exam first time up, you can be a Chief by around your 7 year mark. It's hard, but not impossible. Hell, my first ship's CMC was a red striper! But that's been many moons ago... nowadays it would be very hard to attain that with a record of disiplinary action. Doesn't mean people are behaving themselves any better, just getting better at covering it up lol!
I dunno- I've known several CPOs who were s**tbirds right out of bootcamp, but got squared away after a mast or two.
But I don't want to make this an article about CMCs or CPOs... better to link to those articles if they exist, or create them.

Supersquid 15:59, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

OK I'm being bold with this page... I replaced the drawn CPO collar device images with ones taken from BuPers Naval Uniform Regulations [3]; firstly, because the one for Senior Chief was wrong (star at top of anchor), and secondly, because pictures of actual items look, IMO, better than drawings. Being relatively new, I appreciate inputs as to image quality/size/placement/Wiki markup/etc etc ad nauseam. If all looks well, I plan to update other images.
Something else that I've been thinking of is to rearrange the placement of the E-1 to E-3 insignia... to me, the placement seems a bit jarring to have it below the article text. Need guidance on this as well
Supersquid 02:28, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Junior enlisted groups[edit]

What are the "five definable groups" for junior enlisted? Implied in the article, it would seem that they are: Seaman, Hospitalman, Fireman, Airman, and Constructionman. Is this correct? I think the article should have an appropriate list added to the first sentence of the E-1 to E-3 section. — ERcheck (talk) 08:09, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

You are correct, and the article has been changed to denote this
Supersquid 12:01, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Ideas[edit]

A few things that I've been thinking about...

  • Should add in images of the apprenticeship marks for Seaman, Airman, Fireman
I'm working on a way to add them in im not real sure where or to be honest if they belong here technically they should be on the ratings page.
Well they are part of a person's insignia. It's a requirement to wear them if the person is an apprentice. Plus, it's not a rating, but a symbol to denote that the person wearing it is looking for a rating. Personally, it works out to be more of a "hey lookit me I don't have a rating so give me all the crap jobs" thing.  :-) <apologies to all apprentices out there>
Well, as a former striker I can testify that it can mean more than that- like a transfer out of Deck Division into a job with air conditioning and a lot less chipping & painting....--Solicitr (talk) 05:43, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Should have an image of a designated striker's patch (ie Boatswain's Mate Seaman, or BMSN)
Added to the E-1 - E-3 section.
That was fast!
  • Should have an image of the "crows" for the working utilities, the coveralls, and the cammies
Added to the uniform section.
See above
  • Should find a better way to describe where a person's rate insignia is worn on the different uniforms; maybe some pictures?
I tried with a picture but I think we should just go with adding a blurb from BUPERS on the description.
Roger
  • Should have a blurb about how the apprenticeship program works
It's in there.
  • I really dislike comparing a rating to an MOS, as it's not a good analogy. For example, I am an ET, an electronics technician, which means I can work on any range of electronic gear (radar, comms, computers, IFF, Tactical Air Navigation, etc etc). For specializations, we have what are called NECs (Navy Enlisted Classifications). I am specialized in FFG-7 comms (NEC 1428), crypto (NEC 1460), IFF (NEC 1572), and Info Systems Maintenance (NEC 1678). I think that NECs relate better to an MOS than ratings relate to MOS, but that's just me. Ideas?
I removed the MOS blurb it also would be better suited on the rating page if at all. I think were ok with having the NEC reference on the rating page.

Wil, since you're the graphics guru, and you've done all the ones on the page so far, to keep things looking the same... mind doing up some images for the above? :-)

Supersquid 12:18, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with most everything I have in the past thought of adding the apprenticeships so I'll figure out a way to do that and the strikers patch. Ill make a crow and possibly one for whites. Ill see if I can recreate something from BUPERS as to the pacth location for the uniforms and one for women as well. As for the MOS comparison I agree anything like that needs to be added to the NEC page and even there is would be hard to explain. Plus some of these paragraphs need to be reworked bad. Some of them have information that doesn't seem relevant and most could be worded better. The biggest issue is finding sources for whats being said thats something were going to need in order to get it featured. — WilsBadKarma (Talk) 14:37, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I added some comments to your list above.— WilsBadKarma (Talk) 02:16, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Ditto the same. Looking really good. I'm gonna pull the whole "SSG part of CPO Mess" as no references can be found. I'll see what else I can do here.
Supersquid 12:37, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Per Supersquid's comment above, I've pulled the following statement:
Interestingly, Marine Corps Staff Sergeants embarked on most ships in the U.S. Navy are members of the Chief's Mess instead of the First Class Mess.
I could find no references to verify this information. — ERcheck (talk) 22:00, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Review comments[edit]

Redlinks
I find one — Chief of Naval Personnel. The position seems worthy of an article; if no one agrees, then it should be de-linked. Here are some online links for starting points:

ERcheck (talk) 04:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Broken internet links
The first listing is References is broken

Can you find the current path to the same information? If so, please update the URL. — ERcheck (talk) 04:25, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I didn't even catch that all the in page references were under the notes heading so I moved them to references and removed the external links since all of them but the first were included in the inpage references.

The Chief of Naval Personnel is worthy of its own article and I'll work on creating it.— WilsBadKarma (Talk) 04:31, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Looks goodERcheck (talk) 05:41, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Just a few remarks:

  • "Rank" is technically not used for enlisted sailors. Rate is the pay grade, or "Petty Officer Level." Ie, my Rate when I got out was Petty Officer First Class. Rating is the job. These are usually combined when speaking of an an individual. So I would give my rate as "Machinist's Mate First Class," even though it's a combination of my rate and rating. Generally, the rate is given without the rating only when generalizing - ie "Training for all First Class Petty Officers well be held at 0800" or "this billet is meant for second class petty officers." When asked for our rank, ie by those not familiar with the navy, it's a matter of preference as to whether you give your rate or rank/rate.
  • Nobody "ranks as a BM2" but doesn't meet the requirements for promotion to E5. If you don't meet the requirements for E5, you are not one. However, there IS a situation where an enlisted member holds a rate that is not consistent with his paygrade. This is the situation when a person first "makes rate." Within a few days of advancement results being published by BUPERS, the sailor is "frocked" to his new rate. That is, he is allowed to "wear the uniform" of that new rate (which basically means sewing on the new stripes, unless the advancement is to CPO" and be treated in every way as a sailor in that new rate. The only difference is that his pay remains that of his old paygrade until the increment the sailor is in is officially promoted. This is an administrative issue only, and from the moment the sailor is frocked, he is that new rate for all purposes but pay. However, should he be reduced in rate through non-judicial punishment, he can be reduced from his unfrocked rate. So a frocked first class could be reduced to third, while one who's actually "getting paid for it" could only be reduced to second. But one should hope NJP isn't in the person's plans.
  • Designated strikers are those who have been given a rating, but are not yet petty officers. Most commonly, this happens by passing the third class exam (which requires the selection of a rating - there are no "undesignated petty officers"), but not making the cut for advancement. It's not better or "worse" than being undesignated, although often the workcenter the sailor is in will treat them a bit better and concentrate more on helping him advance, since he's now one of their own.
I went through RM 'A' school in early '82. We were considered designated strikers and were told to put sparks over our group rate marks the day we started 'A' school. 24.61.4.237 (talk) 23:51, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Gold thirds - this isn't impossible, though it's rare. Every so often, BUPERS plays around with "High Year Tenure," or the number of years you can be in the navy before you have to advance past that rate. Just a few years ago, it was 20 years for seconds, because manning was tight, then they reduced it to sixteen years. As they play with HYT, thirds will sometimes go over twenty, sometimes go as low as eight. Often they will get grandfathered for a certain amount of time, so that anyone who was in that paygrade before they reduced HYT will still have the higher HYT apply. What's more rare is that someone can go twelve years without getting in trouble, and still not make second. Though there are some ratings that just don't advance very quickly, like BM or conventional MM. That's more a function of the number of billets available for senior petty officers and chiefs at that level, or constantly being overmanned at the higher levels.Izuko 16:27, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

RATES AND RANKS ARE NOT THE SAME THING!!!![edit]

This is a page of Navy ranks NOT rates!!! Rates are the job. No where on this damn page is a single rate!!! PLEASE CHANGE THE TITLE OF THIS FREAKIKNG PAGE!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.116.255.100 (talk) 16:57, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

As noted above, rate is the term used to describe the "rank" for USN enlisted. The "job" is the rating (hence the term rating badge). 24.61.4.237 (talk) 23:47, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Actually, you're both wrong. A rate is the combination of a rating and a rank, or so they told us at Boot Camp, way back when I was but a screamin' seaman. --ip.address.conflict (talk) 18:51, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

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