- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The U.S. Navy announced Tuesday that it is expanding a review of its ratings — the service’s term for an enlisted sailor’s occupational specialty — in a move that includes but goes beyond a mere gender-neutral rewording of job titles.

“The Navy will establish a second working group comprised of senior leaders from throughout the fleet to study how potential changes to rating titles may affect related personnel policy issues,” the naval service said in a June 14 public affairs release.

The decision comes on the heels of a recent meeting between Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens, according to the Navy.

“[S]enior leaders expect the results of this review to allow more flexibility in detailing Sailors, provide greater training and credentialing opportunities, and help Sailors become more marketable to civilian employers once they leave the service,” the Navy news release said.

In January, the Navy Times reported that Mr. Mabus, the 67-year-old former governor of Mississippi, ordered a review of ratings with the hope of renaming ones ending in “-man,” such as “yeoman” and “engineman.” 

“As we move to achieve full integration of the force, mirroring more closely the nation that we defend, this is an opportunity to update position titles and descriptions to be more inclusive and better translate occupation and skill sets to prospective employers when Sailors and Marines leave the service,” Mr. Mabus said in Tuesday’s news release.

Mr. Mabus, who was appointed by President Obama, has been outspoken in his denunciation of conservative critics.

At the Pentagon’s official gay-pride celebration last week, Mr. Mabus compared social conservatives opposed to gays openly serving in the military to bigots who opposed racial integration of the armed forces.

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