After pulling the plug on a short-lived effort to get rid of its ratings system entirely, the Navy announced Wednesday it will add four new ratings for active-duty sailors, in an effort to channel more specialized training and resources to key positions aboard submarines and surface ships.
The ratings include yeoman submarine, abbreviated YNS; logistics specialist submarine (LSS); culinary specialist submarine (CSS); and fire controlman Aegis (FCA), officials said in an announcement published Wednesday.
The change will affect a relatively small number of sailors. According to data provided by Navy Personnel Command, the number of active-duty sailors eligible for each new ratings is as follows:
The new ratings will take effect Sept. 2 for sailors in the rate of petty officer first class, Oct. 17 for sailors in the rate of chief through master chief, and Nov. 28 for rates up to petty officer second class.
The ratings will be automatically applied to sailors who meet certain criteria, according to a Navy administrative message signed by Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke. As the move is administrative in nature, it is expected to have minimal impact on the fleet, the message states.
"These establishments will permit optimum management and utilization of personnel, and economy of training," the message continues. "Additional value will be gained for manpower, personnel, training and education because these new service ratings establish new rating control numbers that will augment current manpower programs, ultimately decreasing inventory inaccuracies."
A defense official told Military.com that adding these additional ratings had been under consideration for several years. For submarines in particular, where even culinary specialists need to hold security clearances, the change will make it easier to group sailors qualified for specific assignments, the official said.
No badge or uniform changes are expected as a result of the new ratings.
Those who will receive the new ratings are yeomen, logistics specialists and culinary specialists with a designator code of 1, 2, or 8, and fire controlmen serving with one of 58 Navy enlisted classifications listed in the message.
In addition, the message states, a Navy-wide advancement examination will be created for each of the new ratings to improve the ability of Navy advancement centers to single out the most knowledgeable candidates within the surface and submarine specialties.
The exam will focus on work tasks, equipment, tools and technologies, it states. The exams will begin in March 2018 for petty officers third through first class and in January 2018 for chief petty officers.