The following shows the normal path of
Figure 9-10 shows a comparison by paygrade
advancement by paygrades:
insignia of enlisted personnel of the Navy,
Marines, Army, and Air Force.
Let us trace the advancement of a typical
enlisted naval careerist, Tom Gaskins, who
specializes in the occupational field of Gunners
Mate (Guns) (GMG). Gaskins first enlists as
a seaman recruit (SR). After receiving basic
training at a recruit training center, he expresses
interest in deck seamanship. Upon completion
of his training, he is transferred to sea
duty. Aboard ship he receives general training
in seamanship and, in time, qualifies for
advancement to seaman apprentice (SA), then to
Petty officer third class
Petty officer second class
Petty officer first class
Chief petty officer
Senior chief petty officer
Master chief petty officer
Meantime, having demonstrated an interest
in the rating of Gunners Mate (Guns) (GMG),
Gaskins receives an assignment to gunnery
maintenance duties in the weapons department.
Having shown himself proficient in that field
of work, Gaskins receives authorization from
his commanding officer to participate in the
Navywide advancement examination for GMG3.
Gaskins can participate in this examination
only after he has met certain requirements,
such as length of time in service and paygrade.
If successful, he then has recurring opportunities
to compete for successive advancement to GMG2,
GMG1, and GMC. Gaskins retains the specialty
rating (Guns) until he advances to chief.
Thereafter, he becomes eligible to compete
for advancement to senior and master chief
the latter being the highest
enlisted rate. He even has a possibility of
being selected as the master chief petty officer
of the Navy, a billet held by only one Navy
enlisted person at a time.
Subject to standard instructions, personnel
in the lower paygrades may freely change
laterally from one group to another before
receiving intensive training in one particular
field. This allows time for each person to
find his or her choice of work in the Navy.
However, once a person has advanced to the
petty officer level, lateral changes are permitted
The jumper-style uniform, worn since the
turn of the century, is still the prescribed