GENE SLOVERS
US NAVY PAGES

Rate Insignia of Navy Enlisted Personnel




 

The following information (revised 29 June, 2009) comes from navy.mil The Official Website of the US Navy.

The use of the word "rank" for Navy enlisted personnel is incorrect. The term is "rate." The rating badge — a combination of rate (pay grade) and rating (specialty) is worn on the left upper sleeve of all uniforms in grades E-4 through E-6. E-1 through E-3 have color coded group rate marks based upon their occupational field. Group rate marks for E-2 and E-3 are worn on dress uniforms only. Personnel in pay grade E-1 do not wear group rate marks. Chief Petty Officers (E-7 through E-9) wear collar devices on their white and khaki uniforms, and rate badges on their Service Dress Blues.

Pay Grade Rate Abbreviation Upper Sleeve Collar and Cap
E-1 Seaman Recruit SR none none
E-2 Seaman Apprentice SA none
E-3 Seaman SN none
E-4 Petty Officer
Third Class
PO3
E-5 Petty Officer
Second Class
PO2
E-6 Petty Officer
First Class
PO1
E-7 Chief Petty Officer CPO
E-8 Senior Chief
Petty Officer
SCPO
E-9 Master Chief
Petty Officer
MCPO
E-9 Master Chief
Petty Officer
of the Navy
MCPON

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Enlisted Rating Insignia

The enlisted rating badge for Petty Officer Third Class and above consists of two parts. The chevrons indicate pay grade (rate). Between the chevrons and the eagle is an insignia indicating the Sailor's job specialty (rating). Insignia are silver on blue uniforms and Navy blue on white uniforms. Sailors in pay grades E-4 through E-6 can be addressed as "Petty Officer (name)" or [as example] "Boatswain's Mate Third Class (name)". The latter would be written as BM3.

Chief Petty Officers are always referred to as "Chief", "Senior Chief", or "Master Chief" as appropriate. As example: "Chief Jones" or in subsequent references, just "Chief".

The linked tables show the rating insignia for various Navy specialties. For clarity, the insignia are displayed in these groupings:

Administration/Medical/Dental | Engineering/Hull | Aviation | Construction 

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Group Rate Marks for
Pay Grades E-1 through E-3

Sailors in pay grades E-1 through E-3 are considered to be in apprenticeships. As they begin their path towards advancement to Petty Officer in a specific specialty, they begin in the appropriate "group". For example, a Sailor who wishes to be an Electrician's Mate will begin in the Engineering/Hull group. The groups and the general rate marks (stripes) for E-1 through E-3 are shown here. (Note: E-1s do not wear any rate marks.) These rate marks are shown for the dress blue uniform. For whites, the background is white and the stripes are Navy blue. Those who earn it through a training school [an "A" school] or by passing a Navy wide examination will wear a rating insignia above the stripes.

Group
(linked to rating insignia)
Pay Grade Rate Abbreviation Stripe Color
Deck,
Administration,
Medical,
Dental
E-1 Seaman Recruit
Hospital Recruit
Dental Recruit
SR
HR
DR
[none]
E-2 Seaman Apprentice
Hospital Apprentice
Dental Apprentice
SA
HA
DA
E-3 Seaman
Hospitalman
Dentalman
SN
HN
DN
Engineering,
Hull
E-1 Fireman Recruit FR [none]
E-2 Fireman Apprentice FA
E-3 Fireman FN
Aviation E-1 Airman Recruit AR [none]
E-2 Airman Apprentice AA
E-3 Airman AN
Construction
(SeaBees)
E-1 Constructionman Recruit CR [none]
E-2 Constructionman Apprentice CA
E-3 Constructionman CN

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Enlisted Rating Insignia

Engineering and Hull Specialties

Roll your mouse over the insignia to view the job description for each rating.

DCs perform the work necessary for damage control, ship stability, fire-fighting and chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) warfare defense. They instruct personnel in damage control and CBR defense and repair damage-control equipment and systems. The operation and repair of a ship's or station's electrical power plant and electrical equipment is the responsibility of EMs. They also maintain and repair power and lighting circuits, distribution switchboards, generators, motors and other electrical equipment. Internal combustion engines, diesel or gasoline, must be kept in good order. This is the responsibility of ENs. They also maintain refrigeration, air-conditioning, distilling-plant engines and compressors. GSs operate, repair and maintain gas turbine engines; main propulsion machinery, including gears; shafting and controllable pitch propellers; assigned auxiliary equipment propulsion control systems; electrical and electronic circuitry up to the printed circuit module; and alarm and warning circuitry. They also perform administrative tasks related to gas turbine propulsion system operation and maintenance, (GSE: Electrical) (GSM: Mechanical)
DC - Damage Controlman EM - Electrician's Mate EN - Engineman GS - Gas Turbine System Technician (Note 1)
HTs are responsible for maintaining ships' hulls, fittings, piping systems and machinery. They install and maintain shipboard and shore based plumbing and piping systems. They also look after a vessel's safety and survival equipment and perform many tasks related to damage control. ICs operate and repair electronic devices used in the ship's interior communications systems, SITE TV systems, public address systems, electronic megaphones and other announcing equipment. They are also responsible for the gyrocompass systems. Continuous operation of the many engines, compressors and gears, refrigeration, air-conditioning, gas-operated equipment and other types of machinery afloat and ashore is the MM's job. They are also responsible for the ship's steam propulsion and auxiliary equipment and the outside (deck) machinery. MMs also may perform duties involving some industrial gases. MRs are skilled machine tool operators. They make replacement parts and repair or overhaul a ship's engine auxiliary equipment, such as evaporators, air compressors and pumps. They repair deck equipment, including winches and hoists, condensers and heat exchange devices. Shipboard MRs frequently operate main propulsion machinery, besides performing machine shop and repair duties.
HT - Hull Maintenance Technician IC - Interior Communications Electrician MM - Machinist's Mate MR - Machinery Repairman
Navy Divers are responsible for a wide variety of tasks like underwater ship maintenance, construction, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), and underwater rescue. They are assigned to Naval Special Warfare Units to provide diving technical expertise and supervisory support to all submersible operations.

The PM is an important link between the draftsmen who make the drawings, and the molders in a Navy foundry, who produce the castings. PMs make patterns in wood, plaster or metal using drafting, carpentry and metalworking skills while using shop mathematics.

Notes
*Note 1: "Gas Turbine System Technician" is used at pay grade E-9 only.
Leading to GS:
GSE (Gas Turbine System Technician - Electrical)
and GSM (Gas Turbine System Technician - Mechanical).
Note 2: Navy Diver rating established 1 Jun 2006

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Enlisted Rating Insignia

Administration, Deck, Medical, Technical, and
Weapons Specialties

Roll your mouse over the insignia to view the job description for each rating.

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Enlisted Rating Insignia

Aviation Specialties

Roll your mouse over the insignia to view the job description for each rating.

AB - Aviation Boatswain's Mate* AC - Air Traffic Controller AD - Aviation Machinist's Mate AE - Aviation
Electrician's Mate
ABs operate, maintain and repair aircraft catapults, arresting gear and barricades. They operate and maintain fuel and lube oil transfer systems. ABs direct aircraft on the flight deck and in hanger bays before launch and after recovery. They use tow tractors to position planes and operate support equipment used to start aircraft. ACs assist in the essential safe, orderly and speedy flow of air traffic by directing and controlling aircraft. They operate field lighting systems, communicate with aircraft, furnish pilots with information regarding traffic, navigation and weather conditions, as well as operate and adjust ground-controlled approach (GCA) systems and interpret targets on radar screens and plot aircraft positions. A five-year enlistment is required to become an AC. Usually, ADs are assigned to billets concerned with maintaining turbo-jet aircraft engines and associated equipment or to any one of several types of aircraft maintenance activities. ADs maintain, service, adjust and replace aircraft engines and accessories, as well as perform the duties of flight engineers. AEs maintain, adjust and repair aircraft electrical power generating and converting systems; lighting, control and indicating systems; and can install and maintain wiring and flight and engine instrument systems.
AG - Aerographer's Mate AK - Aviation Storekeeper AM - Aviation Structural Mechanic* AO - Aviation Ordnanceman
AGs are the Navy's weather forecasters. They are trained in meteorology and the use of aerological instruments that monitor air pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction. They also prepare weather maps and forecasts and analyze atmospheric conditions to determine the best flight levels for aircraft. An AG may also measure wind and air density to aid the accuracy of anti-aircraft firing, shore bombardment and delivery of weapons by aircraft. AKs ensure that materials and equipment needed by naval aviation activities are available and in good order. They take inventories, estimate future needs and make purchases. AKs store and issue flight clothing; aeronautical materials and spare parts; ordnance; electronic; and structural and engineering equipment. AMs maintain and repair aircraft parts(wings, fuselage, tail, control surfaces, landing gear and attending mechanisms) working with metals, alloys and plastics. They also maintain and repair safety equipment and hydraulic systems. Navy planes carry guns, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles to attack the enemy on the sea, under the sea, in the air and on land. AOs maintain, repair, install, operate and handle aviation ordnance equipment. Their duties also include the handling, stowing, issuing and loading of munitions and small arms.
AS - Aviation Support
Equipment Technician
AT - Aviation Electronics Technician AW - Aviation Warfare
Systems Operator
AZ - Aviation Maintenance Administrationman
ASs perform intermediate maintenance on aviation accessory equipment - Modern aircraft depend on radio, radar and other electronic devices for rapid communications, effective navigation, controlled landing approaches and neutralizing enemy equipment and tactics. ATs are responsible for the test, maintenance and repair of this equipment. AWs operate airborne radar and electronic equipment used in detecting, locating and tracking submarines. AWs also operate radars to provide information for aircraft and surface navigation and act as helicopter-rescue crewmen, as well as part of the flight crew on long-range and intermediate-range aircraft. A five-year enlistment is required. The many clerical, administrative and managerial duties necessary to keep aircraft maintenance activities running smoothly are handled by the AZs. They plan, schedule and coordinate the maintenance workload, including inspections and modifications to aircraft and equipment.
PR - Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Notes
Parachutes are the lifesaving equipment of aircrewmen when they have to bail out. In time of disaster, a parachute may also be the only means of delivering badly needed medicines, goods and other supplies to isolated victims. PRs must pack and care for parachutes, as well as service, maintain and repair flight clothing, rubber life rafts, life jackets, oxygen-breathing apparatus, protective clothing and air-sea rescue equipment.

*Note 1: "Aviation Boatswain's Mate" is used at paygrade E-9 only. Leading to AB: ABE (Launching & Recovery Equipment), ABF (Fuels), and ABH (Aircraft Handling).


*Note 2: "Aviation Structural Mechanic" is used at paygrade E-8 only. Leading to AM: AME (Safety Equipment), AMH (Hydraulics), and AMS (Structures).

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Enlisted Rating Insignia

Construction Specialties

Roll your mouse over the insignia to view the job description for each rating.

Navy builders are like civilian construction workers. They are skilled carpenters, plasterers, roofers, cement finishers, asphalt workers, masons, painters, bricklayers, sawmill operators or cabinetmakers. BUs build and repair all types of structures including: piers, bridges, towers, underwater installations, schools, offices, houses and other buildings. A five-year enlistment is required. CEs are responsible for the power production and electrical work required to build and operate airfields, roads, barracks, hospitals, shops and warehouses. The work of a Navy CE is equivalent to civilian construction electricians, powerhouse electricians, telephone and electrical repairmen, substation operators, lineman and others. A five-year enlistment is required. CMs maintain heavy construction and automotive equipment - buses, dump trucks, bulldozers, rollers, cranes, backhoes, pile drivers - other construction equipment and service vehicles. They work on gasoline and diesel engines, ignition and fuel systems, transmissions, electrical systems and hydraulic, pneumatic and steering systems. A five-year enlistment is required. EAs provide construction engineers with information needed to develop final construction plans. EAs conduct surveys for roads, airfields, buildings, waterfront structures, pipelines, ditches and drainage systems. They perform soil tests; prepare topographic and hydrographic maps and survey for sewers, water lines, drainage systems and underwater excavations. A five-year enlistment is required.
BU - Builder (1) CE - Construction Electrician (2) CM - Construction Mechanic (3) EA - Engineering Aide (1)
EOs work with heavy machinery such as bulldozers, power shovels, pile drivers, rollers and graders. EOs use this machinery to dig ditches; excavate for building foundations; break up old concrete or asphalt paving and pour new paving; loosen soil and grade it; dig out tree trunks and rocks; remove debris from construction sites; raise girders; and move and set in place other pieces of equipment or materials needed for the job. A five-year enlistment is required. SWs rig and operate all special equipment used to move or hoist structural steel, structural shapes and similar material. They erect or dismantle steel bridges, piers, buildings, tanks, towers and other structures. They place, fit, weld, cut, bolt and rivet steel shapes, plates and built-up sections used in the construction of overseas facilities. A five-year enlistment is required. UTs plan, supervise and perform tasks involved in the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of plumbing, heating, steam, compressed air and fuel storage and distribution systems, air conditioning and refrigerator equipment and sewage collecting and disposal facilities.  
EO - Equipment Operator (3) SW - Steelworker (1) UT - Utilitiesman (2)  

NOTES
(1) BU, EA, and SW become CUCM at pay grade E-9,
(2) CE and UT become UCCM at pay grade E-9,
(3) CM and EO become EQCM at pay grade E-9

 

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