Navy Specialist Ratings

Navy Specialist/Emergency Ratings
Coast Guard Specialist Ratings


Specialist 1942-1948  
    The rating of Specialist was created at all four petty officer grades just prior to World War Two.  The peace time rating structure did not provide for all of the functions needed to accommodate the rapid expansion of the Navy and the need for special skills.  A letter to the Secretary of the Navy dated 21 November 1941 from The Chief of the Bureau of Navigation recommended the Specialist rating.  The Secretary of the Navy's endorsement is undated leaving a question as to the exact date of the establishment of the Specialist rating.

    A circular letter dated 13 January 1942, conveyed the first four of the Specialist letter designators.  Emergency rating badges are distinguished by a diamond with a letter of the alphabet inside the diamond which is below the eagle.   One example is Welfare & Recreation Leader,  a "W" inside a diamond.  Additional letter designators were added with the total for the Navy reaching twenty-two Specialist categories most with sub-categories.  The Coast Guard added six Specialist ratings, some with double letters, as Port Securityman (PS). 

Emergency Service Rating 1948-1957
   A major revision of Navy ratings in 1948 replaces the Specialist with Emergency Service Rating (ESR).  Although, many changes are made in the new ESR structure, the diamond with letter is retained.  The Specialist Welfare (Chaplain's Assistant) (W) becomes Emergency Service Welfare & Recreation Leader (ESW)   All personnel holding an ESR are to be members of the Naval Reserve subject activation only in time of nation emergency.

   Letters are reused as needed.  In example, the diamond M, a Mail Clerk from 1942-1944 is a Underwater Mechanic  from 1948 to 1965.  Sample badge.

Emergency Rating 1957-1974
    The Emergency Service Rating (ESR) is renamed Emergency Rating (ER) and the number of ratings greatly reduced in the conversion of ratings between 1957 and 1964.  By 1965 all Emergency Ratings are abolished with the exception of Telecommunications Censorship Technician - ESK.  In 1972, the ESK rating is reclassified as Information Security Specialist and is disestablished in 1974.

  In the following table, the use of the diamond letter is detailed with duration and disposition where known. 

Navy Specialist Ratings

A Athletic Instructor, 1942-1944
Physical Training Instructor, 1944-1948 (reclassified ESE 1948)
Airship Rigger, 1948-1955
Aircraft Carburetor Mechanic 1956-1959
B Master At Arms (Shore) 1948-1954 (from Boatswain's Mate (M)
Stevedore 1958-1965 (to Boatswain's Mate)
C Classification 1942-1942 (to EST Teacher, Selection Office Interviewer)
Classification Interviewer 1943-1948 (from EST, Selection Office Interviewer) (to PN Personnelman)
Chaplain's Assistant 1954-1965 (to YN Yeoman)
E Recreation and welfare Assistant 1945-1948 (to ESW, Welfare and Recreation Leader)
Motion Picture Service (Booker) 1945-1948 (to ESU, Booker (Motion Picture Service)
Physical Training Instructor 1948-1965 (from Specialist A)
F Fire Fighter 1944-1965 (to DC, Damage Controlman)
G Gunnery Instructor 1942-1943
Gunnery Instructor (Skeet Shooter) 1942-1943
Special Gunnery Instructor (Aviation) 1942-1943
Aviation Free Gunnery Instructor 1943-1948 (to TD, Tradevman)
Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Instructor 1944-1948 (to TD, Tradevman)
H Harbor Defense Sonarman 1959-1965
I IBM Operator 1942-1942
International Business Machine (IBM) Operator 1942-1943
Punched Card Accounting Machine Operator 1943-1946 (to MA, Machine Accountant)
Electric Accounting Machine Operator 1943-1946 (to MA, Machine Accountant)
Tabulating Machine Operator 1943-1946 (to MA, Machine Accountant)
Instructor (Miscellaneous) 1948-1965 (from Specialist T, to Boatswain's Mate)
K Chemical Warfareman 1948-1955 (to DC, Damage Controlman)
Telecommunications Censorship Technician 1957-1972
Information Security Specialist 1972-1974
M Mail Clerk 1942-1944
Fleet Mail Clerk (Postal Employee) 1942-1944 (to Mailman)
Underwater Mechanic 1948-1965
O Inspector of Naval Material 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
Ordnance Inspector 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
Engineering Inspector 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
Petroleum Technician 1942-1948 (to ESX, Inspector)
P March of Time Photographer 1942-1942
Photographer 1942-1944
Photographic Specialist 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH  Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
Motion Picture Technician 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH  Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
Laboratory 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH  Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
Photogammetry 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH  Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
V-Mail 1944-1948 (to various ratings, APH  Aviation Photographers Mate, PH Photographer, LI Lithographer)
Photogammetry Assistant 1948-1960
Q Communications Security 1943-1943
Communications Specialist 1943-1946
Cryptanalyst 1943
Radio Intelligence 1943
Technician 1943
Cryptologist 1943
Registered Publications Clerk 1944
Cryptographer 1946-1948 (to CT, Communications Technician)
R Recruiter 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
Transportationman 1948-1965 (from Specialist X, to SK Storekeeper and DK Disbursing Clerk)
S Entertainer 1942-1942
Shore Patrol 1942-1943
Shore Patrol and Security 1943-1948 (to ESS Shore Patrolman)
Specialist S (V-10) Master at Arms (Wave) 1943-1943
Personnel Supervisor (V-10) 1943-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
Shore Patrolman 1948-1954
T Teacher 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
Teacher (Draftsman) 1943-1944 (to Specialsit X Engineering Draftsman)
Teacher (Firefighter) 1943-1943
Fire Fighting Instructor 1942-1943 (to Specialist F Fire Fighter)
Teacher (Recognition) 1943-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
Teacher (Jam Handy V-10) 1943-1944 (to Specialist G Aviation Free Gunnery Instructor V-10)
Teacher (Selection Office Interviewer) 1942-1943 (from Specialist C Classification, to Specialist C (Classification and Interviewer)
Teacher (Control Tower Operator V-10) 1943-1943 (to Specialist Y Control Tower Operator)
Teacher (Illiteracy Program) 1944-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
Teacher (Link Trainer Instructor) 1943-1948 (to TD Tradevman)
Teacher (Link Celestial Navigation Trainer Instructor) 1943-1948 (to TD Tradevman)
Teacher (Mk 1 Machine Gun Trainer) 1942-1944 (to Special Artificer D (MG))
Teacher (Pigeon Trainer) unknown to 1943 (to Specialist X Pigeon Trainer)
Teacher (Visual Training Aids) 1943-1944 (to Specialist X (Visual Training Aids)
Teacher (Topographic Draftsman unknown to 1944 (to Specialist X (Topographic Draftsman)
Service School Instructor 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
Instructor 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
Recruit Instructor 1942-1948 (to PN Personnelman and ESI Instructor)
Transportation Airman 1948-1957 (from Specialist V Transport Airman)
U Utility (V-10 Stewardess) 1943-1943
Utility (V-10) (discontinued 1944)
Booker (Motion Picture Service) 1948-1965
V Transport Airman 1943-1948 (to EST Transportation Airman, AC Air Controlman, AD, Aviation Machinist's Mate, AK Aviation Storekeeper)
Aviation Pilot 1948-1962 (Chief, First and Second Class only)
W Welfare (Chaplain's Assistant) 1942-1946
Welfare (Duty with Chaplains)
Welfare (Assistant to the Office of the Chaplain)
Welfare and Recreation Leader 1948-1965
X Specialist (Not Elsewhere Classified) 1943-1948
Specialist 1948-1961 (to ESX)
Air Stations Operations Desk - Time Shack 1943-1948 (to AC Air Controlman)
Archivist 1945-1961
Armed Service Radio Service and Special Navy Radio Units 1945-1948 (to ESX Radio Broadcasting Technician)
Artist (1945-1961
Ballistics 1945-1948 (to ESX Ballistics Test Analyst)
Bombing Trainer Instructor (V-10) 1945-1946?
Cable Censor 1945-1947? (to ESK Telecommunications Censorship Technician)
Cartographer 1943-1948 (to DM Draftsman)
Crystal Grinder 1945-1961
Discharge Interviewer 1945-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
Engineering Draftsman 1943-1948 (to DM Draftsman)
Fingerprint Expert 1945-1961
Gage Specialist 1945-1961
Intelligence Duties 1944-1948 (to ESX Naval Intelligence Specialists 1948-1961)
Interpreter 1945-1948 (to ESX Linguist 1948-1961)
Journalist 1945-1948 (to JO Journalist)
Key Punch Operator and Supervisor 1944-1948 (to MA Machine Accountant)
Naval Correspondent 1945-1948 (to JO Journalist)
Operations - Plotting and Chartwork 1943-1948 (to ESX Chart Clerk 1948-1961 and AC Air Controlman)
Passenger Transportation 1945-1948 (to ESR Transportationman)
Pigeon Trainer 1943-1961
Plastics Expert 1943-1961
Position Classifier 1945-1948 (to PN Personnelman)
Public Information 1945-1948 (to JO Journalist)
Research Laboratory 1945-1948 (to ESX Laboratory Technician)
Special Projects 1945-1948 (to ESX Ordnance Projects Technician)
Strategic Services 1945-1948 (to ESX Special Projects OSS 1948-1961)
Telephone Switchboard Operator and Supervisor 19443-1948 (to ESX Switchboard Operator 1948-1961)
Topographic Draftsman 1943-1948 (to DM Draftsman)
Visual Training Aids 1943-1948 (to ESX Model Maker 1948-1961)
Agriculture Worker 1948-?
Excavation Foreman 1948-? (from CMCBE Carpenter's Mate Construction Battalion Excavation Foreman)
Fisherman 1948-?
Inspector of Naval Material 1948-? (from Specialist O Inspector of Naval Material)
Librarian 1948-?
Motion Picture Technician 1948-1961 (from Specialist P Motion Picture Technician)
Petroleum Production Man 1948-?
Powderman 1948-? (from GMCBP  Gunner's Mate Construction Battalion Powderman)  
Y Control Tower Operator 1943-1948 (to AC Air Controlman)

Coast Guard Exclusive Specialists Ratings

D Dog - Horse Handler 1943-1951 (some sources refer to rating as Dog Patrol)
Z Tanker Loading Inspector 1957 - ? (to PS Port Securityman)
CW Chemical Warfareman 1943-?
PR Public Relations 1943 - ?
PS Port Security Patrolman 1943- ? (to PS Port Securityman)
TR Transportationman 1943 - ?