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'Man the Torpedoes!' Navy Announces Re-establishment of Torpedoman's Mate Rating

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From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy announced the re-establishment of the Torpedoman’s Mate rating (TM) in NAVADMIN 225/19, to be released Oct. 1.

According to the naval message, re-establishing the rating will renew the heritage and pride of the submarine TM.

“The Torpedoman’s Mate rating was disestablished in 1995, but based on feedback from the fleet we are bringing it back,” said Capt. Angela Katson, branch head of Enlisted Force Shaping Plans and Policies. “In the spirit of heritage, and Sailor 2025 initiatives, we are returning to the use of the original Torpedoman’s Mate rating badge.”

During an All Hands Call that took place at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, Washington, then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson fielded questions from Sailors on the possibility of re-establishing the TM rate in April. Shortly after, the Navy began the process to approve re-naming the Machinist’s Mate (Non-nuclear, Submarine Weapons) (MMW) rating to Torpedoman’s Mate. 

“I think the Navy bringing back the TM rating is going to pay incredible dividends,” said MMWCS Heath Mangrum the force torpedoman at Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic. “The excitement level amongst the Sailors is through the roof. It’s the right time for a change like this to light the fire under our Sailors, and embrace the heritage in the rating.”

The Torpedoman rating was established in 1921 and renamed Torpedoman’s Mate in 1942. Following the success of the submarine force in WWII, the rate remained until 1995 when it was merged into the Machinist’s Mate rating.

“Although there are similarities between a Machinist’s Mate and a Torpedoman’s Mate, the TM’s main focus at sea is weapons handing, force protection and maintaining an incredible level of proficiency in ordnance, small arms and the upkeep of those systems,” said Mangrum.

TMs are responsible for all phases of weapons loading, unloading and storage on all classes of submarines.  This includes torpedoes, Tomahawk missiles and countermeasure devices.  A TM works on high pressure air and hydraulic systems to maintain loading and launching capabilities for torpedo and vertical launch tubes. 

The re-establishment of the general rating is solely administrative in nature, but will require a rating badge change for affected Sailors.  The TM rating badge will be the same one in use when the rating was disestablished in 1995.

“The importance of a TM stems far beyond namesake,” said Mangrum. “When the commanding officer is calling for a ready weapons posture, the TMs make sure all systems are locked, loaded and ready to go.”

There will be no change to the Navy-wide exam policies for the rating beyond the change in name, and no change to the administration schedule of examinations will occur.  Current policies exercised will continue unaltered.  Additionally, there will be no changes to E-7 and above evaluation and selection board processes.

Sailor 2025 is the Navy’s program to improve and modernize personnel management and training systems to more effectively recruit, develop, manage, reward, and retain the force of tomorrow.

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