Sailor enlisted ratings – Navy speak for job designation – are organized around specific skills and abilities. As the service’s needs shift, new ratings are created.
Also read: 19 Terms Only Sailors Will Understand
Some of these ratings can last for decades, even centuries – like Boatswain’s Mate (BM) – while others go away or merge into others. The following ratings are examples of jobs that have been dissolved to create new ones or added to the responsibilities of already existing ones:
1. Journalist (JO)
JOs are like traditional journalists, they gather news about people, places and activities in the Navy, and report it to the military and civilian communities via radio, television, and newspapers.
2. Photographer’s Mate (PH)
PHs are the Navy’s professional photographers. They’re work includes field photography, portraits, aerial photography, reconnaissance photography, photo editing, filming and other visual audio work.
3. Illustrator/Draftsman (DM)
DMs are the Navy’s version of a graphic designer, they create original art, technical illustrations, graphics for briefings, visual aids and publications for the Navy.
4. Lithographer (LI)
LIs are the Navy’s version of a Print Designer, they run print shops and produce printed material used by the Navy, such as magazines, newspapers, forms and training materials.
Mass Communication Specialist (MC)
In 2006, the Navy merged the ratings of Journalist, Photographer’s Mate, Illustrator/Draftsman, and Lithographer to form Mass Communication Specialist. Since the merger, MCs are required to perform all the duties associated with the former rates.
This is the name designation for sailors who specialized in visual communications, such as flag semaphore, visual morse code, and flag hoist signaling.
In 2004, the navy merged Signalman into the Quartermaster rating. QMs specialize in ship navigation and visual communications.
6. Storekeeper (SK)
SKs are in charge of purchasing, procurement, shipping, receiving, issuing equipment, tools and anything else obtained through the supply system.
7. Postal Clerk (PC)
PCs manage the Navy’s mail system, which is similar to the civilian postal service. The difference, however, is operating from ships and remote locations.
Logistics Specialist (LS)
In 2009, the Navy merged the ratings of Postal Clerk and Storekeeper to form Logistics Specialist. They use financial and database systems to manage all logistical functions and are required to perform all the duties associated with the former rates.