The Navy is creating three separate ratings for information technology, or IT, personnel serving on submarines to specialize in communications, network security and electronic warfare.
The change means that sailors currently in the information systems technician rating aboard submarines will convert into these new ratings to facilitate “mastery” in one specific area of expertise, according to a naval administrative message, or NAVADMIN, released late last month.
“While the shipboard network knowledge base will be shared, these career paths will be distinct; each managed by separate training pipelines and [Navy Enlisted Classification] codes,” the NAVADMIN said. “All submarine IT Sailors will become knowledgeable in network fundamentals, but will be specialists in communications, Network security, or electronic warfare.”
Officials said the change stems from feedback from a Submarine Force survey where sailors said they’d prefer three separate ratings.
Additionally, the official said the “existing accession pipeline does not allow for rating growth.”
“Revising ITs into three ratings will increase accession production by 33% and allow for growth in the three new ratings to improve fill in the Force,” the Navy official said in an email to Navy Times.
The revised ratings are available for all active duty sailors, while Reserve sailors may only convert to the communications and network security ratings.
Commands will coordinate with their immediate superior in command, type commanders, and the Bureau of Navy Personnel by the end of the year to determine which career realignments best accommodate the needs of the Navy and commands for all active duty sailors E-1 to E-9.
“Commands should ensure that each Sailor selects an appropriate career path based on their current Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) codes and qualifications,” the NAVADMIN said. “Amplifying information on the process for selecting career paths will be provided via a separate execute order.”
The Bureau of Naval Personnel will coordinate the realignment for Reserve sailors.
All of the new ratings will complete their own Navy-wide Advancement Examinations that will kick off in January 2024, and produce their own advancement quotas.
Those in the information systems technician, submarine rating who’ve already received approval to retire before the end of February will not undergo the rating realignment process.