Decision Coming Soon on Navy Job Title Review, Mabus Says

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Thursday that he expects a review of Navy job titles to help sailors' careers, not only within the service, but also when they transition out into the civilian sector.

The Navy in June announced that top brass had decided to expand a review initiated by Mabus to ensure that current job titles were gender-inclusive to also explore the impact of titles on personnel policy and training organization.

The review now could go beyond changing the names assigned to Navy ratings and include updates to detailing policy, reorganization of training pipelines and more.

Mabus said the results of the policy review were going to come out "pretty soon," though a proposal was not yet on his desk.

"I think it will do two things: It will better describe what people do, and it will make career paths more flexible and more rewarding," Mabus said. "Two is, when people leave the Navy, it will make the transition easier, because people outside will understand what they did and what their skills are."

While Navy officials have said that all job titles are under review and haven't described any specific titles as candidates for special scrutiny, Mabus' comments may indicate that more antiquated or opaque titles, such as yeoman, for a sailor who performs administrative and clerical work, or aerographer's mate, for a specialist in meteorology and weather forecasting, may receive consideration for change.

The Marine Corps, which was also commanded by Mabus to review job titles for gender-specific language, announced in late June that the service would change 19 job titles to make them more gender-neutral, while keeping some, such as rifleman, out of respect for tradition.

The job title review is one of a series of measures Mabus has promoted in an effort to minimize distinctions between the genders in the military. He has also worked to overhaul Navy uniforms as the driving force behind new unisex dress covers, "dixie cup" enlisted white hats for women, a female version of the "crackerjack" blues and the prohibition of dress white skirts at this year's Naval Academy graduation.

Mabus told Military.com today that he was proud of his legacy as Navy secretary, even as he broke with service tradition on a wide range of issues.

"Every decision I've made, I've made with the view of making the Navy and the Marine Corps stronger, better for the future. Better at their jobs, better at what we're entrusted to do, which is defend this country," he said. "And I think we've done some historic things. ... We've got the greatest expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known."

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at@HopeSeck.

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