Navy reverses decision to change traditional job title classifications

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The Navy announced Wednesday that they are reversing an earlier decision to stop referring to sailors by their job titles and adopt a job classification in line with the Army, Marine Corps and the Air Force, according to USNI News.

According to, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the backlash from sailors was strong and immediate, with some OK with the changes, while others were mad that a centuries-old tradition was being done away with. 

The new rating system would have affected 265,000 enlisted sailors and the hope was the new system would allow more flexibility for sailors to move between job specialties.

Petty Officer 1st Class James Warren, a fire controlman aboard the USS Chancellorsville, said he signed the petition.

“What we know from joining the Navy is your rate is your job and your job defines what you do,” Warren said. “The ratings going away threw a wrench in that equation and there was mayhem. I’m glad the ratings are coming back because that’s who we are.“

But the response was quick. A petition to reverse the decision gathered 103,760 signatures, according to

“Since we made the initial rating modernization announcement in September, [Navy leadership] have had the opportunity to speak with thousands of sailors during our travels throughout the fleet. The feedback from current and former sailors has been consistent,” he said. “So effective immediately, all rating names are restored.”

Richardson said that Navy modernization will still happen in some areas. The Navy will work toward changing its personnel system to provide sailors flexibility, including allowing sailors to have multiple occupational skill sets or ratings.

The discussion to make these changes began earlier this year when the Marines were attempting to make their position titles more gender-neutral. In June, 19 military occupational specialties were altered, removing the word "man," from the description.

Categories: Local San Diego News