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   Navy Ranks

Here I will talk about my Rank and Rate(job type) in my Navy time. At the beginning of my Navy time, I was Rank as SR. After 4 years in the Navy, my final Rank and Rate can be abreviated as GSM3(SW/FMF). I'll explain what those are down here.

Here is a list of names for the ranks E1 - E10
Rank Title Rank Title
E1 Recuit E6 1st Class
E2 Apprentice E7 Chief
E3 Seaman, Fireman... E8 Senior Chief
E4 3rd Class E9 Master Chief
E5 2nd Class E10 Master Chief of the Command

Here is a list of jobs as an E1 - E3 will be called, color, and Job Type. The color is what you wear with your uniform. At the bottom, I showed what I was and there you can see what I mean. Seaman have black and white, cause they wear black on the white uniform and white on the black uniform. After E3, then it's the same for everyone. Red on Black, and Black on White.
Title Color Job Type
Seaman black/white Default - if you are not others, you are a Seaman
Fireman red Engineer - deal with engine, or engine spaces equipments
Airman blue Airplane, Jets - deal with anything related to planes
Constructionman green SeaBees - deal with anything construction
Hospitalman black/white Corpman - nurses, and anything with medical

After bootcamp, I came out with no rate and rank of E1 which stand for Enlisted One. One being the lowest for Enlisted and E10 being the highest for Enlisted. So I came out as E1, and since I didn't go to the school yet, I was defaulted as SR, or Seaman Recruit.


At my Navy school, I studied Gas Turbine Engine (Mechanical) and I graduated Apr1995, so my Rank and Rate was Gas Turbine Engine Technician (Mechanical) Fireman Recruit - abreviated as GSMFR. As a GSM, I can wear my Rate which is a turbine wheel look like the one on the left. Since I was still a FR, or Recruit or E1, so I don't have any strips to show my rank.


In June 1995, 9 months after my start in the Navy. I was promoted to E2 and the left picture is what I wear on my uniform. E2 is automatic. You just have to stay out of trouble for 9 months and you become E2, so in my case, I am now GSMFA. FA stand for Fireman Apprentice. To get to E3, it's another 9 months, but this time it's not automatic. Your Work Center Supervisor need to recommend you to it and that is it.

So, 9 months later, around March 1996, I got recommended for E3 and I got it and that's why I wear what you see on the left and I am now GSMFN. Tthe FN is just Fireman. To get to E4, you need to be an E3 for a minimum of 1 year and after that you have to be recommended, and be fit, and the hard part is that you will also have to take a test. The test is like a competition. All the GSMFN in the entire Navy, not just my base is competing for the number of spots that is open for an E4. So for example, if there is 500 GSMFN in the Navy, and there is only 25 spot, then there will be 475 people disappointed. The test is only offered in March and September of every year only. Lucky for me I got my E3 on a March so a year later, I can take the test. If I was promoted in April, then I have to wait to Sep of next year to take the test.
So I took the test on March 1997. It took a while for the result but I got it by June 1997. The weird thing about getting E4 and above. After you pass the test and the Captain give you your Crow and Cheveron, the thing on the left, you don't get paid as an E4 until like 6-7 months after you take the test. So I got my rank E4 in June, but didn't get paid for it until around September, or October of that year. Again to be qualified to take the E5 exam, you have to be an E4 for a minamum of 1 year, but you can start counting from the time you took the E4 exam, cause by the time the result comes in, you will be a year in as an E4. So I can take the E5 exam in March 1998. I didn't care too much cause that was the year I get out of the Navy, so even if I pass, I will not be paid for it since I get out in Sep 1998. So I stayed a 3rd Class until I get out.

Here is where I will talk about the next part of my abreviation GSM3(SW/FMF) So on the top, I took care of the GSM3, but now it's the next part. The SW and FMF. Look at the ribbon/medal link on top for the next two things. Actually, I just read the things I wrote on the medal page and think I covered it so I'll just repeat it here. The designation is just to let people know you been through those steps to get it and that you know your stuff more then the ones who haven't went through it.

This is the "Enlisted Surface Warfare Speciallist" Designation. The (SW) part. I got this around Oct 1997. To get this you have to go to all the ship area and study what all the things are for and the capability of that ship you are on. To make sure you do this, there is a book you have to get signature for to say you did that part before. After you get all the signatures, then you are qualify to take the test. There is a written test that test you on all the things you should have learned. Then if you pass that, then the last part to get this is to have an oral exam. With around 4 people asking you questions and the Caption of the ship sitting there. He of course can ask questions as well. I passed so I get to wear this designation proudly on my uniform.
This is the "Navy Fleet Marine Force" ribbon. The (FMF) part. It is also a designation which will make you look like you been in the Military for a while. I got this around Apr 1996