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How the new US Navy rate system may benefit sailors

We here at Navy Crow have been on the front lines with other Navy social media communities in decrying the death of rates by SECNAV Mabus and MCPON Stephens.

While the move was made brashly, with little or no input from deckplate sailors, and it still plays off with a very strong “do more work for the same money” vibe, there are ways it can be implemented to benefit sailors:

You’ll actually be able to train in the job you want.

Many sailors entered the military with little or no knowledge of what they’d be doing in the service. How many people do you think walked into their recruiter with the goal to “work with computers” and ended up AC&T fire control technicians?

Those sailors may have wanted to be ITs, and now they might be able to at least get training in that field to set them up for the job in the future.

Manning will be much less of an issue.

On an extended deployment, we ran into the issue that some divisions had nearly twice as many sailors as they needed as departing and arriving sailors overlapped, and some divisions were severely undermanned, since all the gained sailors were still waiting on the pier back in their home port.

With the new system, it could be much easier to reallocate manpower where it’s needed. This is a double-edged sword, of course, where a sailor taking a Gunner’s Mate billet could be pushed into performing the duties of an Operations Specialist, which may not have been something they wanted to do.

Opportunity for new duty stations.

Speaking as a sonar technician, our options for shore duty were either San Diego, California or Whidbey Island, Washington. It makes for a very homogeneous career path, as every single living sonar tech has been on one of two platforms, and has gone through one of two bases for shore duty.

Contrast this experience with logistics specialists, who can be stationed at any base in the world, from Naples to Rota, from Yokosuka to Great Lakes. The opportunities are limitless, and it’d be nice to spread some of that good stuff around.

Since not much information is available about what’s going to be happening with ratings, much of this is all conjecture. Since we’re now waiting for a comment from President Obama, we’ll see soon how this whole thing is gonna play out.

Celebrate our old ratings with one of the great rating coins from Navy Crow, like the Gunner’s Mate coin! These make excellent gifts for any old salt missing their rate, so be sure to pick one up before supply runs out!