After a massive uproar — most publicly on social media — from sailors across the fleet, the U.S. Navy has announced a reversal in the service’s previous decision to do away with traditional ratings titles like boatswain’s mate.
“We have learned from you, and so effective immediately, all rating names are restored,” Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, wrote in a recent Navy message.
The original plan to move away from time-honored ratings titles was designed to create more inherent agility in enlisted career paths, and the feeling among Navy leaders — including the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano — was that a number of ratings titles were archaic and impediments to that goal.
As well as having a hand in what many have criticized as a misguided effort to broaden job opportunities across the enlisted ranks at the expense of professional pride, Mabus has also been accused of trampling over sea service traditions in a politically-motivated drive to fully integrate females in the Navy across the board.
Sailors have responded on Facebook and other social media sites in a big way, and their approval of the Navy’s reversal is by all indications universal.
“They need to make a kids movie on this about how Santa saved the ratings.” commented Leanna Jacques, an aviation boatswain’s mate, on Navy Times’ Facebook page.
Another sailor posted this meme: