US Navy Enlisted Ratings


Rating NameAbbrev.Notes
Aerographer's MateAerMMake weather observations. Read weather codes and signals.
Airship RiggerARControl and moor airships. Know steering and meteorology.
Apprentice SeamanASKnow naval drill duties, tie knots. Stand watch.
Aviation Chief RadiomanACRM 
Aviation Electrician's MateAEMInspect, maintain, repair and install all electrical equipment in aircraft.
Aviation Machinist's MateAMMAssemble, service and repair airplanes and airplane engines. Splice aircraft wiring. Know principles and theory of flying.
Aviation Machinist's Mate CAMMCAviation carburetor mechanic.
Aviation Machinist's Mate FAMMFAviation flight engineer.
Aviation Machinist's Mate HAMMHAviation hydraulic mechanic.
Aviation Machinist's Mate IAMMIAviation instrument mechanic.
Aviation Machinist's Mate PAMMPAviation propeller mechanic.
Aviation MetalsmithAMRepair airplane metal parts. Know principles and theory of flying.
Aviation OrdnancemanAOMHandle and take care of all aviation weapons.
Aviation Ordnanceman BAOMBAviation bombsight mechanic.
Aviation Ordnanceman TAOMTAviation turret mechanic.
Aviation PilotAPPilot planes and airships. Serve as plane captain.
Aviation Radio TechnicianARTMaintain all aviation radio equipment.
Aviation RadiomanARMOperate radio transmitting and receiving equipment of naval aircraft.
BakerBkrOperate ovens. Do any kind of baking.
Boatswain's MateBMWork with canvas and hoisting with block and tackle. Handle rope, wire, and anchor chain. Handle power and sail boats. Steer ship and chart courses. Direct salvage.
Boatswain's Mate ABMASame duties as Boatswain's Mate and in addition, Master-at-arms.
BoilermakerBFit pipes, make repairs in boilers. Know construction of marine boilers and fireroom safety precautions.
BuglemasterBgmstrKnow all bugle and drum calls and honors rendered. Lead and instruct a corps.
BuglerBugPlay in a bugle and drum corps. Know bugle calls and honors.
Carpenter's MateCMUse hand and power tools. Take charge of ship ventilation, painting, watertight control, drainage. Understand shoring and drydocking.
Chief Commissary StewardCCSSupervise ship's galley.
Chief PhotographerCP 
Chief WatertenderCWT 
Commissary StewardCS 
CookCkTake charge of galley.
CoxswainCOXWork with canvas and handle boats. Know signaling.
Electrician's MateEMUse electrical tools and repair electrical equipment. Charge storage batteries. Wind armatures. Stand watch on main gyrocompass and in main control room of electrically driven ships. Repair telephone circuits. Apply first aid in case of electrical shock.
Fire ControlmanFCStow, inspect and repair fire control instruments. Take charge of fire control equipment. Know electricity - A.C. and D.C. Man fire control stations.
Fire Controlman RFCRSame duties as fire controlman and in addition, range finder operator.
Fire Controlman SFCSSubmarine fire controlman.
FiremanFFire and tend boilers. Operate, adjust and repair pumps.
Gunner's MateGMTake charge of gun and crew. Assemble and fire all types of guns. Handle ammunition. Handle mines and depth charges.
Hospital ApprenticeHAKnow minor surgery, first aid and nursing. Maintain sanitary conditions.
Machinist's MateMMOperate main and auxiliary engines. Adjust, repair, and overhaul engines. Be familiar with ship's drainage systems, distilling plants, evaporators and pumps.
Machinist's Mate EMMEEngineman.
Machinist's Mate GMMGIndustrial gas generator mechanic.
Machinist's Mate RMMRRefrigeration mechanic.
Machinist's Mate SMMSShop machinist.
Mess AttendantMATT 
MetalsmithMMake plans, time and cost estimates. Work in copper and brass. Temper metals, repair damage. Test for watertightness.
MinemanMNCarry and move mine cases, anchors, cables, lines, buoys.
MolderMLEquip and work in foundry. Make castings. Use molding tools. Operate oil furnaces.
Motor Machinist's MateMoMMOperate machine tools. Operate and maintain internal combustion engines and engine auxiliaries. Knowledge of pressure and air systems. Be familiar with electrical apparatus.
MusicianMusPlay standard band music. Read music at sight.
Officer's CookOC 
PainterPtrPrepare and apply paints and varnishes. Lay and repair tiling and linoleum. Take charge of and repair fire extinguisher and rescue breathing apparatus.
Painter VPtrVAviation painter.
Parachute RiggerPRPack and repair parachutes. Parachute jumping experience.
PatternmakerPMUse pattern and molding tools. Execute intricate patterns.
Pharmacist's MatePhMTake charge of sick bay. Do minor surgery and administer simple medicines.
Photographer's MatePhoMOrganize and direct operations of Naval photographic units. Operate motion picture machines. Develop negatives and make prints.
PrinterPrtrTake charge of ship's printshop, set type. Read proof.
Printer LPrtrLLithographer.
Printer MPrtrMMultilith operator.
QuartermasterQMSteer ship and take soundings. Use range finder. Plot bearings. Know signal control and navigation. Send and receive International Code by blinker, searchlight and semaphore.
RadarmanRdMStand radar watch and operate radar equipment.
Radio ElectricianRE 
Radio TechnicianRTMaintain radio equipment.
RadiomanRMTransmit and receive radio messages. Encipher and decipher messages.
SeamanSKnow naval drill duties, knots, steering and signaling. Stand watch and gunnery duties.
Ship's CookSCSupervise and prepare cooking.
Ship's Cook BSCBButcher.
Ship's Service Man BSSMBBarber.
Ship's Service Man CSSMCCobbler.
Ship's Service Man LSSMLLaundryman.
Ship's Service Man TSSMTTailor.
ShipfitterSFUse hand and machine tools for steel metal work. Bend, repair and fit pipes. Operate fire extinguishers and rescue breathing apparatus.
SignalmanSMStand signal watch on bridge. Identify flags. Use blinker, searchlight and semaphore. Use range finder, searchlights, signal apparatus.
SonarmanSoMOperate special sound equipment.
Sonarman HSoMHOperate special harbor sound equipment.
Special Artificer DSADKnowledge and repair of special training devices.
Special Artificer ISAIRepair typewriters and watches. Coat lenses of optical instruments.
Special Artificer OSAORepair all optical instruments, such as telescopes, periscopes, compasses, range finders.
Specialist ASp(A)Athletic instructor.
Specialist CSp(C)Classification interviewer.
Specialist FSp(F)Fire fighter.
Specialist GSp(G)Aviation free gunnery instructor.
Specialist ISp(I)Punched card accounting machine operator and mechanic.
Specialist MSp(M)Mail clerk.
Specialist OSp(O)Inspector of Naval material.
Specialist PSp(P)Photographic specialist.
Specialist P (LB)Sp(P)(LB)Laboratory.
Specialist P (MP)Sp(P)(MP)Motion picture production.
Specialist P (PG)Sp(P)(PG)Photogrammetry.
Specialist P (VM)Sp(P)(VM)V-mail.
Specialist QSp(Q)Communication specialist.
Specialist Q (CR)Sp(Q)(CR)Cryptographer.
Specialist Q (IN)Sp(Q)(IN)Radio Intelligence.
Specialist Q (TE)Sp(Q)(TE)Technicians.
Specialist RSp(R)Recruiter.
Specialist SSp(S)Shore patrol. Master-at-arms.
Specialist TSp(T)Teacher.
Specialist T (LT)Sp(T)(LT)Link Trainer Instructor.
Specialist USp(U)Supervisor of WAVE quarters.
Specialist VSp(V)Transport airman.
Specialist WSp(W)Chaplain's assistant.
Specialist XSp(X)Specialists not elsewhere classified.
Specialist X (CT)Sp(X)(CT)Cartographer.
Specialist X (ED)Sp(X)(ED)Engineering draftsman.
Specialist X (PI)Sp(X)(PI)Pigeon trainer.
Specialist X (PL)Sp(X)(PL)Plastic expert.
Specialist X (QM)Sp(X)(QM)Operation - plotting and chart work.
Specialist X (SB)Sp(X)(SB)Telephone switchboard operator supervisors.
Specialist X (TD)Sp(X)(TD)Topographical draftsman.
Specialist X (TS)Sp(X)(TS)Air stations operations desk (time shack).
Specialist X (VA)Sp(X)(VA)Visual training aids.
Specialist YSp(Y)Control tower operator.
StewardStTake charge of mess arrangements.
Steward's MateStMServe at table in officers' mess.
StorekeeperSKTake charge of ship's storeroom. Issue and account for stock and clothing.
Storekeeper DSKDDisbursing storekeeper.
Storekeeper TSKTHandle technical stock material.
Storekeeper VSKVAviation storekeeper.
TelegrapherTSend and receive cables.
Torpedoman's MateTMLubricate, assemble, charge and fire torpedoes. Lay mines and drop depth charges.
Torpedoman's Mate ETMETorpedoman's mate, electrical.
Torpedoman's Mate VTMVTorpedoman's mate assigned to aviation activities.
Turret CaptainTCTake charge of gun turret and crew. Assemble and repair guns. Handle ammunition. Operate periscopes and range finders.
Warrant OfficerWO 
Water TenderWTTake charge of fireroom when under way. Maintain, repair, and overhaul boiler system.
YeomanYTake charge of ship's office. Take dictation, write Navy letters. Prepare reports and keep personnel records.


Last Major Update: Nov 2015

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
30 Nov 2015 02:30:06 PM

When discussing US Navy Enlisted Ratings, it is important to understand the difference and distinction between the Navy’s use of the words “rate,” “rating,” and “rank.” US Navy enlisted personnel have no rank, only officers do. The word “rate” has to do with the pay rate and would be the term comparable to rank. “Rating” has to do with qualifications to do work, or what they are rated to do. Thus, when addressing a US Navy enlisted member, both the rate and rating are used; such as “Quartermaster Second” which means a rating as a quartermaster with a rate of petty officer second class.
2. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
10 Dec 2020 02:30:58 PM

Adding to the above, US Navy enlisted rates of Apprentice Seaman, Seaman second class, Seaman first class, Fireman third class, Fireman second class, and Fireman first class are all rates without ratings. These are the introductory levels for enlisted personnel and once they make their rating in a particular specialty, they are made petty officers (usually third class to start) in that particular rating. The three classes of Seaman and Fireman are on equal levels but the Firemen work the engine rooms while the Seamen work elsewhere on the ship. In World War II, a recruit right out of basic training would hold the rate of Apprentice Seaman, usually for about six months before being due to advance to Seaman second class, which he would hold for a year before being due for advancement to Seaman first class. Several factors could alter that timetable but that was the starting point. Further, Seamen working toward a rating (toward a specialty) are called strikers. In the movie ‘The Caine Mutiny,’ a sailor identifies his rate as “Seaman first, signalman striker.” This is correctly stated and means he was, at that time, a Seaman first class who was working toward a rating as a signalman petty officer.
3. Rob Rice says:
4 Jan 2021 06:05:58 AM

I have a picture of a WWII sailor with an PO1 badge. Instead of a rating emblem in the usual spot, there is a "CB". Do you know what this is?
4. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
4 Jan 2021 11:10:20 AM

Rob Rice (above):
CB stood for Construction Battalion, the fabled SeaBees. Before the fighting bee insignia was approved on 14 Oct 1944, SeaBees wore the rating emblem CB.
5. Anonymous says:
29 Sep 2021 11:25:48 AM

Thank you for this site have been looking up father’s naval classifications
His separation papers state medals
6. Fred says:
3 Oct 2021 07:29:29 PM

I see Doris Miller, Pearl Harbor hero and planned namesake of CVN-81, cited as Cook 3rd Class when he was KIA after being promoted from Steward Mate 2ed class at the time he was awarded the Navy Cross. Something is wrong with this progression; was Cook 3rd a Warren Officer in the 40s, or did Stewards rank below other ratings?
7. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
3 Oct 2021 10:24:34 PM

Fred (above):
At the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Doris Miller had the rate of Mess Attendant 1st class. In Feb 1943, this was renamed Stewards Mate 1st class but remained at the same level. That level was comparable to Seaman 1st class or Fireman 1st class. The rating of Cook 3rd class was comparable to a 3rd class petty officer and after Jun 1944 was, in fact, a 3rd class petty officer. So, yes, a change in classification from Stewards Mate 2nd class to Cook 3rd class was an elevation in rate.
8. John says:
27 Jun 2022 05:13:21 AM

Approximately how many Specialist W ratings served during WWII?

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