After ratings change backlash, effort to reform Navy jobs moves ahead
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — The Navy has backed off on a controversial decision to scrap job-oriented titles, but the effort to reform how those jobs are attained and offered is moving forward, a top Navy official said Tuesday.
“Now that we’ve got the distraction of the naming issue put aside, we’re focusing on things of substance that we wanted to tackle — the rating modernization — as well as Sailor 2025,” Vice Adm. Robert Burke, chief of Naval Personnel, told a media roundtable in Hawaii.
Sailor 2025, an overhaul of the Navy’s personnel system, is intended to modernize policies, operating systems and training.
The service announced in September it would end the 2-century-old job-ratings system that identifies sailors by occupation and rank, though many vehemently opposed the change.
“Our sailors have many allegiances,” Burke said of the backlash. “They have allegiance to their ships, to their warfare designations, to their squadrons and to their tribe. Ratings are another tribe, and there’s tradition associated with it. I think there’s that aspect of it.”
At least for now, a yeoman first class will remain a yeoman first class, he said, adding that “everything else in the project is continuing forward.”
“We fundamentally haven’t changed our personnel system since the draft went away [44 years ago],” Burke said.
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