- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016

All 91 of the U.S. Navy’s enlisted job titles are headed for Davy Jones’ locker.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus prodded the Navy and Marine Corps early this year to look for ways to create gender-neutral rating titles. The Marines responded with new job titles in June, but the Navy ultimately decided to go with a complete overhaul of its system.

“We’re going to immediately do away with rating titles and address each other by just our rank as the other services do,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke told Navy Times for a piece published Thursday. “We recognize that’s going to be a large cultural change, it’s not going to happen overnight, but the direction is to start exercising that now.”

The move, which officials say will make service members more employable post-service, does away with titles like airman and fireman in favor of Navy Occupational Specialties (NOS).

“Under this new system, for example, Gunner’s mates will be identified as B320 and quartermasters will be B450,” Navy Times explained.

The title seaman will remain the last nonrated rating remaining for those with a rank of E-3 and below.

SEE ALSO: U.S. Marines Corps strips ‘man’ from 19 job titles: ‘We have reached peak crazy’

Vice Adm. Robert Burke told the newspaper that NOS will be configured into broad career fields within 13 communities of service. The new system aims to give sailors a greater number of duty stations and more flexibility in terms of how their careers advance.

A spokesman for Secretary Mabus denied any “direct line” between the directive for gender-neutral job titles and the Navy’s decision to overhaul its system, the Washington Examiner reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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