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Old 04-14-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default Rank, Rate, Rating, and Paygrade ~ What's the difference?

Since you guys are required to know the difference, I will explain this....

Rank & Rate - The Navy enlisted sailor DOES NOT have rank. The proper word is rate. Rank is ONLY used by Navy officers. You being enlisted use the word rate (never rank).

Some rates are: Seaman Recruit, Seaman Apprentice, Seaman, Petty Officer 3rd Class, Petty Officer 2nd Class, Petty Officer 1st Class, Chief Petty Officer, Senior Chief Petty Officer, Master Chief Petty Officer.

Please note: For E2 and E3 pay grade only use different color stripes: (see below picture)
White = Hospitalman or Seaman.
Green = Airman = "Airdales".
Red = Fireman = Engineering = "Snipes".
Teal = Constructionman = bee's = Seabee's.

Rating - Rating is the job you do. You could be a Hospital Corpsman (HM), an Electrician's Mate (EM), a Boatswain's Mate (BM), an Aviation Ordnanceman (AO), or even a Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM).

Number of various Ratings: (with distinctive rating badge)
Seaman: 30 - They are BM, CS, CT (CTI, CTM, CTN, CTR, CTT), EOD, ET (ETN, ETR, ETV), FC, FT, GM, HM, IC, IT (ITS),
Airman: 12 - They are AB (ABE-ABF-ABH), AC, AD, AE, AG, AM (AME), AO, AS, AT (ATI, ATO), AW (AWF-AWO-AWR-AWS-AWV), AZ, PR
Fireman: 7 - They are DC, EM (EMN), EN, GS (GSE, GSM), HT, MM (MME, MMN, MMW), MR
Constructionman: 7 - They are BU, CE, CM, EA, EO, SW, UT

Paygrade - Is the grade you are paid at. These are:
E-1 thru E-9 (Note the "E" means enlisted).
W-2 thru W-5 (Note the "W" means Warrant Officer. Also note the Navy doesn't have W-1's).
O-1 thru O-10 (Note the "O" means officer).

Most of the time we just combine rating and rate into one term. For example, a Boatswain's Mate has the rating abbreviation BM, and if the person is a Petty Officer Second Class which is a "2" abbreviation, then the person's rate could also be BM2 (BM is the rating and the 2 is Petty Officer Second Class paygrade E5). So you will hear "BM2 come over here".

I hope these charts will help you....


Last edited by Craig; 04-11-2014 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:03 AM   #3
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Default rank vs rate

you are very wrong on a lot of accts. first, you say: "here are some rates" and list ALL nine enlisted ranks, not 'some' of them as you indicated suggesting there are more, but you listed them all. then you confuse the reader by calling ranks, rates. rates are our job field. ET, IT, BM... whatever the case may be.

ranks are your E1-E9 (as far as enlisted goes) each rank has a different title, for example: Seaman Apprentice, 2nd Class Petty Officer, Senior Chief Petty Officer to name three of the nine enlisted rankings.

you can be any rank in any rate, although of course the higher the rank, the more difficult it is to achieve. please do not over complicate it with all your intricacies and such that anyone outside the Navy will not understand.
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