The Navy is merging three ratings for senior enlisted Seabees into one, giving enlisted leaders in that field a better shot of picking up E-9, the service announced.
Constructionman master chiefs, equipmentman master chiefs and utilities constructionman master chiefs will see their titles changed to the new Seabee master chief. The change, which goes into effect March 15, will apply to E-9s in those ratings from the active force and Reserve.
The consolidation of the three ratings into one follows an extensive review of Naval Construction Force master chief billets, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell Jr. wrote in a service-wide message issued Friday. The review found that most E-9 billets in the field "can be filled by any Seabee Master Chief regardless of source rating," he said.
Senior chiefs will no longer be limited to advancement opportunities solely in their source rating, a Navy news release on the change states. Instead, Seabee master chiefs will be pulled from the most qualified senior chiefs in the Naval Construction Force.
"This initiative directly supports Sailor 2025 and Rating Modernization and will ensure that highly qualified Senior Chiefs will no longer be limited on opportunity due to their source rating and future CBCMs will be sourced from the best and most fully qualified Senior Chiefs across the entire NCF," Nowell added.
Master chiefs currently serving in one of the three ratings that will be replaced with the new Seabee master chief won't be required to take any action. Their ratings will automatically be converted to the Seabee master chief, or CBCM, next week.
The new CBCMs won't need to get new specialty badges to go with the rating name change, the message from Nowell adds.
"Current source ratings badges will be retained," it states.
There are currently 62 leaders serving as constructionman master chiefs, equipmentman master chiefs and utilities constructionman master chiefs, said Cmdr. Dave Hecht, a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel.
There are also 211 senior chief petty officers in Seabee ratings that could be affected by the change if they're selected for E-9, Hecht said. Those include senior chiefs serving as construction electricians, construction mechanics, constructionmen, equipment operators and utilitiesmen.
The fiscal 2022 E-9 selection board, which convenes in April for the Reserve and in June for active-duty personnel, will be the first to advance E-8s into the new Seabee master chief rating.
-- Gina Harkins can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.