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The History of Navy Rank (or Rate): Enlisted Personnel


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The United States Navy’s enlisted rank and rate system is unique among the armed services. The first point of divergence is the term “rate,” used in the Navy rather than the more-familiar term “rank,” which is reserved for naval officers and warrant officers. The second unique aspect of Navy enlisted rates is the inextricable linkage of rates, which represent a Sailor’s pay grade, and ratings, which denote an occupational specialty. For example, where a notional Sergeant Smith may have a military occupational specialty (MOS) of infantryman in the Army, he would simply be designated Sergeant Smith, both in conversation and on official documents. A Sailor of equivalent rank/rate with a rating of boatswain’s mate would be Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Jones. Thus, the Navy combines rates and ratings in Sailors’ titles. https://www.dvidshub.net/news/357929/history-navy-rank-rate-enlisted-personnel

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