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Mythbusting: Enlisted Rating Modernization Plan – Six Commonly Asked Questions

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

Following the Navy’s enlisted rating modernization announcement Sept. 29, Sailors have had a lot of questions. We’ve heard you, and we will continue to keep you informed as the modernization process continues.

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Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers.

Q. What has changed immediately following that announcement?

Right now, we are only changing the way we address each other – both verbally and in written correspondence. Those individuals 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.

  • For example, a Sailor will no longer be called by their rating, such as YN2. Instead, they will be called a “Second Class Petty Officer,” “Petty Officer Second Class,” or simply “Petty Officer.”
  • There will no longer be a distinction between “Airman, Fireman and Seaman,” or “Hospitalman or Constructionman.” They will all be Seamen.
  • Senior enlisted in paygrades E7-E9 will be addressed as “Chief,” “Senior Chief,” or “Master Chief” depending on their paygrade.
  • Fleet, Force and Command Master Chiefs will now be addressed as Master Chief. CMDCM, FORCM, FLTCM are ratings and are no longer authorized. Positional titles like “Doc” or “CMC” may continue to be used.

Q. How is the Navy implementing this change?

Moving from rating titles to Navy Occupational Specialties for Sailors is the first step of a multi-phased approach to transform Navy personnel management. This transformation will occur in phases over a multi-year period.

Just because we’re moving to Naval Occupational Specialty codes does not mean your job will change. But for those individuals in over-manned ratings or for those who want to try something else, this change will allow an opportunity for Sailors to expand their careers, and will provide more choice in terms of timing, home port locations, assignments and even potential opportunities for special and incentive pays.

A working group, comprised of members throughout the Fleet including senior enlisted Sailors from USFF, PACFLT, CNE/CNA, CNP, and MCPON offices among others, has been formed to identify personnel policies, management programs and information technology systems that will require changes. Some of what they will look at includes, but is not limited to, recruiting, detailing, advancements, training, and personnel and pay processes. We are committed to ensuring we have a deliberate process that will enable changes to occur seamlessly and transparently to the Fleet.

Your feedback matters. We want to hear from you during each phase of the transformation and we will carefully consider all aspects of enlisted force management as we move forward. Sailors are encouraged to provide feedback through their chain of command to members that are part of the working group. We will also solicit Sailors’ feedback at key decision points along the way.

We do not have a detailed timeline yet of when these changes will occur, but they are intended to occur over the next two-three years.

Q. Has does this change affect correspondence, FITREPs / Evals, awards, etc.?

Until we update our policies and IT infrastructure, there will be no immediate changes reflected in FITREPs and Evals. However, for written correspondence (letters, memos, etc.) and awards, Sailors will be addressed as Seaman, Petty Officer Third/Second/First Class as appropriate, and Chief, Senior Chief, Master Chief Petty Officer depending on their paygrade.

Q. How will any changes affect rating exams and Sailors’ advancement?

There will be no immediate changes to rating exams or the advancement process at this time. It may take some time before we make these types of changes, but you will receive plenty of notification in advance so you can properly prepare for any type of new advancement exam.

Q. How will any changes affect uniform rating insignias?

There are no immediate changes to rating insignias. There are numerous options under consideration, but we expect this to be one of the last changes we make during this multi-year effort.

Q. How will this change provide more opportunities for Sailors?

The opportunities are gained by aligning Navy Occupational Specialties under broader career fields, which will provide Sailors with flexibility to move between jobs within those fields. We will also match Navy Occupational Specialties to similar civilian occupations, and facilitate the ability to earn civilian credentials for your work and training in Navy.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp

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)


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