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Rating Roundup - A Brief Description of Navy Skills

To help you better know your fellow Navymen and the jobs they perform, here is the first portion of a description of the 65 Navy ratings. The balance will follow in an early issue of ALL HANDS.

As you will note, each description contains the name of the rating, its symbol , and a resume of the duties in that rating. A brief word as to the distinction between rating and rate: A rating is an occupation in the Navy made up of duties calling for similar skills, abilities and aptitudes. A grade within a rating is a rate. The non-petty officer titles are also called rates even though people in these first three pay grades are commonly known as "non-rated personnel."

DECK Group I

BOATSWAIN'S MATE (BM) Boatswain's Mates train and supervise perBoatswainlsall activities relating to marlinspike, deck and boat seamanship, and in the maintenance of ship's external structures and deck equipment. They act as petty officers in charge of small craft and perform duties as masters at arms, police petty officers, serve in or take charge of gun crews and damage control parties.

QUARTERMASTER (QM) Quartermasters assist officers of the deck and navigators, act as steersmen and perform ship control functions. They also maintain navigational instruments, oceanographic publications and charts, render honors and ceremonies, send and receive messages and serve as petty officers in charge of various small craft.

SIGNALMAN (SM) Signalmen send ande various visual messages, handle and route message traffic, operate voice radio and repair visual signaling devices. They also render honors to ships and boats, and serve as navigator's assistants.

RADARMAN (RD) Radarmen perform basic control functions of CIC as plotters, operators, etc. They apply doctrinal procedures of combat techniques as found in standard publications and manuals. Operational and preventive maintenance of radar, radio telephone and associated equipment is within their range of duties.

SONAR TECHNICIAN (ST) Sonar Technicians obtain and interpret underwater data for operational use. They organize ASW attack teams and supervise the use and upkeep of sonar equipment. They are also responsible for the upkeep of surface ship underwater fire control systems and the training of other personnel in these jobs.


TORPEDOMAN'S MATE (TM) Torpedomen test and overhaul underwater ordnance such as torpedoes and depth charges. Their duties include the maintenance of underwater launching devices and related test equipment. Torpedomen serve in surface craft, submarines and aviation activities.

MINEMAN (MN) Minemen test, maintain and install mines used aboard ships and aircraft as well as maintain minelaying equipment.

GUNNER'S MATE (GM) Gunner's Mates operate and maintain missile launching systems, guns, turrets, projectors, and associated equipment. They test and inspect ammunition, ordnance components and magazines and supervise crews assigned to handle weapons systems. They also keep logs and records pertaining to shipboard weapons.

FIRE CONTROL TECHNICIAN (FT) Fire Control Technicians operate, test and maintain weapon control systems (excluding surface ship 'underwater systems
and launchers). They also perform missile test and telemetering and maintain the associated test equipment.

MISSILE TECHNICIAN (MT) Missile Technicians perform maintenance and tests on fleet ballistic missiles (excluding the internal guidance systems) and the various supporting components connected with missile control.


RADIOMAN (RM) Radiomen transmit and receive messages and log and file them according to official procedures. They also operate teletype equipment, tune radio receivers and transmitters and perform preventive maintenance and repair on related equipment.

COMMUNICATIONS TECHNICIAN (CT) Communications Technicians perform specialized duties under the direction of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Communications) / Director, Naval Communications. They are generally assigned to Naval Security Group activities, Naval Communication Stations, and major staff commands afloat and ashore.

YEOMAN (YN) Yeomen perform administrative, clerical and secretarial duties which include typing, filing, preparation and routing of correspondence, plus maintenance of records, publications and service jackets. In some cases they serve as reporters for courts-martial and fact-finding bodies.

POSTAL CLERK (PC) Postal Clerks operate Navy post offices, which includes supervision, maintenance of mail directories, security of postal effects, and the preparation of correspondence, records and files.

PERSONNELMAN (PN) Personnelmen perform administrative duties involved in enlisted manpower utilization. This includes making records and reports as well as accounting procedures and service record maintenance. They also conduct interviews and counsel personnel on service careers and keep publications and directives pertaining to enlisted personnel.

JOURNALIST (JO) Journalists assist public information officers and commanding officers in public relations and preparation of Navy news releases. They coordinate special events, write feature articles on naval activities, arrange radio and television programs and may be assigned to full-time duties as editors or staff members of ship and station newspapers.

SHIP'S SERVICEMAN (SH) Ship's Servicemen operate and manage resale activities such as ship's stores, commissary stores and Navy Exchanges.

COMMISSARYMAN (CS) Commissarymen serve as cooks and bakers for the general mess on ships and shore stations. Their duties include preparation of food, maintenance of sanitation and cleanliness, assistance in menu planning, cost accounting and quality control subsistence items.

DISBURSING CLERK (DK) Disbursing Clerks open and maintain military pay records, prepare payroll and money lists, vouchers and transportation requests, and furnish information on allotments and savings.

STOREKEEPER (SK) Storekeepers order, inspect, package, ship and issue materials and cargo; account for property, supplies and equipment (excluding aviation items); and maintain records dealing with such material.

MACHINE ACCOUNTANT (MA) Machine Accountants operate data processing equipment and are familiar with electronic data processing applications and management of processing offices with computer installations.


MACHINIST'S MATE (MM) Machinist's Mates operate, maintain and make repairs to ship's propulsion and auxiliary equipment. They are also in charge of such equipment as anchor windlasses, cranes, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment.

ENGINEMAN (EN) Enginemen operate, maintain and repair internal combustion engines and auxiliary engineroom refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.

MACHINERY REPAIRMAN (MR) Machinery Repairmen make shop repairs on shipboard machinery. They use both machine and hand tools as well as precision measuring devices.

BOILERMAN (BT) Boilermen operate marine boilers and fireroom machinery, maintain and repair associated equipment and keep inventories and records on fuel and water supplies.

BOILERMAKER (BR) Boilermakers test, maintain and repair marine boilers, heat exchanges and associated equipment. Their duties include welding and keeping maintenance records of boiler repair and operation.

MOLDER (ML) Molders operate foundries aboard ship and at shore stations. They make molds and cores, pour castings of ferrous and nonferrous metals, clean castings and pour bearings.

PATTERNMAKER (PM) Patternmakers make wooden, plaster and metal patterns used by molders in Navy foundries. They make full-scale layouts of wooden patterns and templates and keep inventory of such items.

DAMAGE CONTROLMAN (DC) Damage Controlmen are qualified in the use of damage control equipment, carpentry, firefighting and the control of nuclear, biological and chemical warfare agents. They coordinate damage control parties and are responsible for maintaining and repairing damage control gear and preserving watertight integrity.

SHIPFITTER (SF) Shipfitters plan, supervise and perform tasks necessary for fabrication, installation and repair of metal structures, piping and plumbing. They also perform duties associated with damage control.

INTERIOR COMMUNICATIONS ELECTRICIAN (IC) Interior Communications Electricians maintain and repair IC systems, gyro compass systems, amplified and unamplified voice communications and related equipment.

ELECTRICIAN'S MATE (EM) Electrician's Mates are in charge of electrical equipment, wiring and its maintenance and repair. They test and rebuild electrical equipment in shops both ashore and afloat.

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