Coast Guard History – Enlisted Ratings

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Throughout the next couple of weeks, the Compass will be celebrating the Coast Guard’s 219th birthday by posting stories and commentary on historical events. One interesting topic is the history of the enlisted rates (or “jobs” as they are called in the civilian world). Oh, how they have changed throughout our 219-year history.

Or… have they really “changed” all that much?

Over at the historian’s Web site, you can read a Personnel Bulletin from 1944 that details the various rates and the rating structure. On this list, I counted over 50 specialties. Now, the Coast Guard has just 18 rates.

So, do you know which ones are still around and which have been laid to rest or merged with other specialties? Here’s a hint, Parachute Rigger, Dog-Horse Handler and Tailor are no longer ratings (although with the way these uniforms fit, I could sure us a good tailor who specializes in military uniforms).

Do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing to have fewer ratings? The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) discusses this very topic over at his blog, Coast Guard All Hands. Head over and read what Guardians have to say and engage in the conversation.

Update: Ironically, just as I was hitting “Publish” on this post, a Coast Guard message was released detailing the application and selection process for a new enlisted rating called Maritime Enforcement Specialist (ME) (and a new warrant officer rating of Maritime Law Enforcement and Security Specialist (MLES)). Soon, we will have 19 enlisted ratings…

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