Petty Officer What?

Petty Officer What?

By Garland Davis


The Navy deep-sixed all of its 91 enlisted ratings titles Thursday, marking the beginning of an overhaul of the rigid career structure that has existed since the Continental Navy in a radical shift sure to reverberate through the fleet and the veterans community beyond.

Sailors will no longer be identified by their job title, say, Fire Controlman 1st Class Joe Sailor, effective immediately. Instead, that would be Petty Officer 1st Class Joe Sailor.

“We’re going to immediately do away with rating titles and address each other by just our rank as the other services do,” said Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke in a Sept. 19 interview. “We recognize that’s going to be a large cultural change, it’s not going to happen overnight, but the direction is to start exercising that now.”

The three paragraphs above were excerpted from an article in Navy Times dated September 29, 2016.  Shipmates it looks as if the social engineers are going to win.  First, they fuck with the uniforms trying to develop unisex attire that looks good on women regardless of the fact that men and women are of two distinct body types.  Now they are removing all references to men in Naval Ratings by just eliminating the ratings.

I loved our Navy when I could meet another sailor and just a quick glance at the crow and rating device would tell me just about all I needed to know about him.  I knew what type of duties he performed, I knew in what area of the ship he worked, I knew where his berthing area is located, and the patch on the opposite shoulder told me where he served.

If you have ever been around a group of soldiers, you hear things like “What’s your MOS, Eleven Bravo?” Soldiers wear devices on their dress uniforms that signify whether they are medics, infantry, engineers, quartermaster corps, etc.  The Navy and the Coast Guard were the two services that identified the particular specialty.

Another of the differences that made us unique from the other services gone.

As an old Commanding Officer once told me, “Chief, it’s an ever-changing Navy!”


4 thoughts on “Petty Officer What?

  1. John Croix MMCS (SW) ('61- '88) says:

    So we’re going to change because we don’t want to be special and unique. We must conform because if we don’t some soldier or airman may be offended. If they get offended and feel inferior, then we’ll have to make “safe spaces” and give them time out cards.
    PC crap is ruining my navy and the military in general. Is it a military secret that they are trying to protect or are we changing because the USN and the USCG were different and their jobs didn’t require guesswork on the part of other military members. It was all spelled out right on your sleeve and anyone who knew the code could read it.


  2. Jack De Merit says:

    This sounds like one of the ignorant things that can be done to the Navy. With decision makers like this, what are we becoming? Is the next step to deploy Army and Air Force personnel to Navy ships and expecting them to know what the hell they are expected to do? It would not surprise me in the least.. I made Chief in 1971 and did not see a Senior Chief made until 1984. That same unqualified Senior Chief was promoted to Master Chief in 1986. They never made his billet available to anyone else but retired me early because I did not advance in rate. How do you advance in rate if there are no billets available?


  3. Carl Moslener says:

    The next thing to go will be port, starboard, overhead, bulkhead, passageway, head, scuttlebutt, deck, overhead… Those aren’t words that the other services use.


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