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Petition to Restore Navy Ratings Reaches 100,000 Signatures

Veteran News
Veteran News
November 1, 2016
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A petition on the White House's dedicated petitioning website to restore the traditional Navy ratings done away with in September has reached the required 100,000 signatures to elicit a response from the Obama administration.Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it will do much good.That’s according to Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke, who is well aware of the effort to restore traditional navy ratings.The petition was started by the anonymous “R.W.” on September 29th, 2016, after the announcement by the Navy that all traditional ratings titles would be done away with in the interest of gender equity.Now, ratings such as Corpsman, Boatswain’s Mate and Yeoman, some of which predate the United States Navy and are rooted in naval tradition, have been eliminated to make way for numbers and codes, such as B320 for Gunner’s Mate.The petition on the White House website says that “being known by your job title was a sense of pride. A sign of accomplishment. The Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations just senselessly erased this tradition.”


White House has not yet released a statement on the Navy ratings petition.

At the 100,000 signatures mark, the White House is going to have to issue a response, although Vice Adm. Burke says the Navy has no plans to reverse its decision. Bringing back ratings and beloved titles such as corpsman and boatswain’s mate do not appear to be an option. He also said that the majority of feedback he has received about the ratings change has been positive.This is perhaps due to the fact that he is a Vice Admiral; few, if any, enlisted sailors would risk the ire of their command by expressing negative opinions in front of the equivalent of a three-star general.Still, Burke insists that the “main thing the American people care about is that we’re one Navy team supporting and defending our nation. And when they see a sailor walking down the street, they don’t see a corpsman, they don’t see a hull technician first class, they see a United States Navy sailor,” proving that he misses the point: the American people see sailors regardless of what their ratings are called, but sailors see themselves as part of an insular community of like-named professionals.

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