Sailor’s petition to reinstate Navy’s rating system reaches goal required for White House to respond

(Dec. 1, 2015) From the left, Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Blane Wilson, from Buffalo, N.Y., has his second class petty offer rating badge sewed on by Steelworker 2nd Class Jeffery Conmy during a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 "tacking on crow" ceremony on Naval Station Rota, Spain, Dec. 1, 2015. NMCB 1 promoted 21 Sailors to their newly appointed petty officer ranks with a traditional "tacking on crow" ceremony with a contemporary frocking ceremony in Rota, Spain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brannon Deugan/RELEASED)

A Sailor’s petition to the White House demanding the return of the 91 Navy enlisted rating titles has exceeded the required threshold of 100,000 signatures- nearly two days before the set deadline.

The petition -which was launched on September 29th and had until October 30th to accrue 100,000 signatures- received nearly half of the required signatures within 96 hours of being posted on October 3rd. The petition then accrued signatures more gradually over the month, breaking the 100k point before the close of the deadline.

The widely-unpopular decision to by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to “modernize” the ratings system (replacing them with alphanumeric codes and removing the term “man” from the titles) struck a chord with many Sailors, both past and present.

“For 241 Years Navy personnel have been identified by their Job specialty, known as a ‘Rating,’ ” the petition read. “The oldest rates such as Boatswain Mates, and Gunners Mate predate the founding of this country. 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.”

Regardless of how sailors feel, Mabus has defended his decision and shows no sign of wavering from his position without prodding from higher up the command chain. Mabus also insisted earlier in the year that the title change was so the Navy would “quit segregating women.”

“Can you imagine if we asked another group to wear different kind of uniform?” he said.

However, it now seems that regardless of how Secretary Mabus feels,as the White House is now set to conduct a review of the changes. According to 13 News Now, such reviews typically take about two months.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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