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Enlisted Rating Modernization Plan – Five Things You Need to Know

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

Following its review, the Navy announced Sept. 29, 2016, that it will modernize all rating titles for Sailors with the establishment of a new classification system.



Here are five things you need to know about this important change.

1) This decision is the result of a comprehensive review of Navy rating titles completed this year by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy and his leadership mess.

A graphic depicting the Navy change to the way it classifies enlisted specialties. Instead of using rating names and their abbreviations, the Navy will now use an alphanumeric code. These Navy occupational specialties (NOS) codes will be grouped under career fields. (Dept. of Defense graphic by Nathan Quinn/Released)

 

In June, the Navy announced that it would develop a new approach to enlisted ratings that would provide greater detailing flexibility, training and credentialing opportunities, and ultimately translate Navy occupations more clearly to the American public. Establishing a new classification system is the first step of a multi-phased approach. This change will benefit all Sailors with greater career flexibility, both in the Navy and after they depart the service, by being able to better translate their skill sets to prospective employers. Additionally, these changes will provide the Navy opportunities to improve Sailor “Fit” – the right Sailors with the right training and experience in the right billets.

2) Effective immediately, Sailors in paygrades E1-E3 will be addressed as “Seaman,” E4-E6 will be called “Petty Officer Third/Second/First Class” as appropriate, and Senior enlisted in paygrades E7-E9 will be “Chief,” “Senior Chief,” or “Master Chief” depending on their paygrade.

A graphic depicting the Navy change to the way it classifies enlisted specialties. Instead of using rating names and their abbreviations, the Navy will now use an alphanumeric code. These Navy occupational specialties (NOS) codes will be grouped under career fields. (Dept. of Defense graphic by Nathan Quinn/Released)

  • For example, a Sailor will no longer be called YN2. Instead, they will be called a “Second Class Petty Officer” or “Petty Officer.”
  • There will no longer be a distinction between “Airman, Fireman and Seaman.” They will all be “Seaman.”
  • This cultural change will not happen overnight. It will take a measured approach to make it the norm.

 3) The Navy will more accurately identify a Sailors’ skill and training through a “Navy Occupational Specialty” or “NOS” code – a second key component of this change – that will allow greater assignment flexibility for Sailors throughout their career.

A graphic depicting the Navy change to the way it classifies enlisted specialties. Instead of using rating names and their abbreviations, the Navy will now use an alphanumeric code. These Navy occupational specialties (NOS) codes will be grouped under career fields. (Dept. of Defense graphic by Nathan Quinn/Released)

  • Sailors may hold more than one NOS, which will give them a broader range of professional experience and expertise opportunities.
  • NOS codes will be grouped under career fields that will enable flexibility to move between occupational specialties within each field and will be tied to training and qualifications.
  • Advances in technical training realized through Ready Relevant Learning and a more comprehensive picture of billet technical requirements afforded through Billet-Based Distribution will provide the ability to much more closely track a Sailor’s training and professional development and match it to billets.
  • Each NOS will be matched with similar civilian occupations to enable the Navy to identify credentials and certifications recognized and valued within the civilian workforce. For example a hospital corpsman will be matched with the civilian occupation of a medical technician.
  • The Navy will aggressively pursue opportunities for Sailors to earn credentials recognized and held by their civilian counterparts and incorporate those credentials into Sailors’ professional development.

4) The Navy’s Enlisted Rating Modernization Plan transformation will occur in phases over a multi-year period.

A graphic depicting the Navy change to the way it classifies enlisted specialties. Instead of using rating names and their abbreviations, the Navy will now use an alphanumeric code. These Navy occupational specialties (NOS) codes will be grouped under career fields. (Dept. of Defense graphic by Nathan Quinn/Released)

 

A working group was formed in July to identify personnel policies, management programs and information technology systems that may require modifications over the years and months ahead. There will be no immediate changes to recruiting, detailing, advancements, training, and personnel and pay processes. Any follow-on changes that are made will proceed in a deliberate process that will enable transitions to occur seamlessly and transparently to the Fleet. You should expect to get plenty of advance notice prior any changes to these very important career processes.

5) This change is one step in a larger effort to modernize our personnel systems.

A graphic depicting the Navy change to the way it classifies enlisted specialties. Instead of using rating names and their abbreviations, the Navy will now use an alphanumeric code. These Navy occupational specialties (NOS) codes will be grouped under career fields. (Dept. of Defense graphic by Nathan Quinn/Released)

 

As the Navy transforms its training to a mobile, modular and more frequent system called Ready Relevant Learning, combined with recent creation of the Billet-Based Distribution system that provides a more comprehensive picture of billet requirements Fleet-wide, this enlisted rating modernization plan will provide the ability to much more closely track a Sailor’s training and professional development and match it to billets.


Town hall with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano at Naval Station Norfolk, Sept. 29


Editor’s note: This blog will be updated with additional resources as they are released.

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