Navy changes job title to “retail services specialist,” so sailors can be baristas, Walmart employees when they get out

As the retail season approaches, those who served in the Navy as a Ship’s Serviceman will be prepared to take on the wave of customers- at least on paper.

As of the end of last month, the Ship’s Serviceman rating has been changed to Retail Services Specialist, a move that is supposed to help Sailors find better luck in the civilian sector.

“This new rating name, retail services specialist, translates more easily to the civilian sector, and better represents the professional expertise held by the members of the rating,” Vice Adm. John Nowell, Chief of Naval Personnel, said in a statement.

While the retail world is generally not considered to be a particularly glamorous or rewarding career field, the Retail Specialists of the Navy do just that- only aboard the confines of a ship.

From running the barbershops, kiosks, laundry operations, vending machines and other duties, the RS is essential to ship morale, and keeps Sailors feeling a little less like they are so far from home.

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