Petty officer

A petty officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO rank denotion OR-5. In many nations, they are typically equal to a corporal or sergeant in comparison to other military branches. Often they may be superior to a seaman, generally the (or one of the) lowest ranks in a navy, and subordinate to a more senior non-commissioned officer, such as a chief petty officer.

Origin

The modern petty officer dates back to the Age of Sail. Petty officers rank between naval officers (both commissioned and warrant) and most enlisted sailors. These were men with some claim to officer rank, sufficient to distinguish them from ordinary ratings, without raising them so high as the sea officers. Several were warrant officers, in the literal sense of being appointed by warrant, and like the warrant sea officers, their superiors, they were usually among the specialists of the ship's company.[1] The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the title derives from the Anglo-Norman and Middle French "petit", meaning "of small size, small, little".[2]

Two of the petty officer's rates, midshipman and master's mate, were a superior petty officer with a more general authority, but they remained no more than ratings. However, it was quite possible for a warrant officer (such as the armourer), in his role as a superior officer, to be court-martialed for striking a midshipman. This is because both were regarded as future sea officers, with the all-important social distinction of having the right to walk the quarterdeck. Midshipmen wore distinctive uniforms, master's mates dressed respectably, and both behaved like officers. The master's mate rating evolved into the rank of sub-lieutenant, and midshipman evolved into naval cadet.[1]

Usage in navies

Canada

There are two petty officer ranks in the Royal Canadian Navy. Petty officer, 2nd class (PO2) (maître de deuxième classe or m2 in French) is equivalent to a sergeant and petty officer, 1st class (PO1) (maître de première classe or m1) is equivalent to a warrant officer.

Petty officers are normally addressed as "Petty Officer Bloggins" or "PO Bloggins", thereafter as "PO". The "1st class" and "2nd class" designations are normally only used when such a distinction needs to be made, such as on a promotion parade or to distinguish two petty officers with similar names but different ranks. The NATO rank denotion for "petty officer, 2nd class" is OR-6 (petty officers, 2nd class with less than 3 years seniority are considered OR-5). The NATO rank denotion for "petty officer, 1st class" is OR-7.

India

A petty officer is a non-commissioned officer in the Indian Navy, equivalent to the NATO rank enlisted grade of OR-5. They are equal in rank to a sub inspector of police in the Indian Police Services, or sergeant in the Indian Army and Indian Air Force. A petty officer is superior in rank to a leading rate and subordinate to a chief petty officer, as is the case in the majority of Commonwealth navies.

A petty officer has the ability to work as a leader, capable of taking charge of a group of personnel, and taking roles in the training and recruitment of new members of the Indian Navy.

United Kingdom

State Opening of Parliament 2015 (18169690771)
A petty officer of the Royal Navy on parade in London in 2015. The chevrons on the left arm represent good conduct.

In the Royal Navy, the rate of petty officer comes above that of leading rating and below that of chief petty officer. It is the equivalent of sergeant in the Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force. Petty officer is the lowest of the senior rating grades. Petty officers, like all senior rates, wear "fore and aft" rig.

Warrantchart
Relative Ranks in the Royal Navy, c1810[3]

United States

Five US Navy petty officers in uniform
Five United States Navy Reserve petty officers in uniform.

The title of petty officer in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard has three separate "classes" (3rd class through 1st class) and three senior grades (chief petty officer, senior chief petty officer, master chief petty officer). Petty officer, first class is equivalent in paygrade to staff sergeant in the United States Army and Marine Corps, and technical sergeant in the United States Air Force. Petty officer, second class is equivalent in paygrade to sergeant in the United States Army and Marine Corps, and staff sergeant in the United States Air Force. Petty officer, third class is equivalent in paygrade to corporal in the United States Army, corporal in the United States Marine Corps, and senior airman in the United States Air Force.

Enlisted rank has two components: rate (pay grade) and rating (job specialty). Both components are reflected in the title. A sailor in the rate of petty officer first class with a rating of yeoman, would be a Yeoman 1st Class (abbreviated "YN1"). In the Navy, it is acceptable to refer to Petty Officer as such, while in the Coast Guard, rating is always used.

Non-English-speaking countries

In some countries the same term is used as for a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in land forces, e.g. "suboficial" in some Spanish-speaking countries. The Russian equivalent is Glavny Starshina.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Rodger, N. A. M. (1986). The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 24. ISBN 0-87021-987-1.
  2. ^ "petty officer", Oxford English Dictionary', Oxford University Press
  3. ^ Lavery, Brian (1989). Nelson's Navy: The Ships, Men and Organization. Annapolis, Md: Naval Institute Press. p. 136. ISBN 0-87021-258-3.
Boatswain

A boatswain ( BOH-sən, formerly and dialectally also BOHT-swayn), bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun, also known as a Petty Officer, deck boss, or a qualified member of the deck department, is the seniormost rate of the deck department and is responsible for the components of a ship's hull. The boatswain supervises the other members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews. Additional duties vary depending upon ship, crew, and circumstances.

Chief petty officer

A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer in many navies and coast guards.

Chief petty officer (United States)

Chief petty officer (CPO) is the seventh enlisted paygrade (E-7) in the United States Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above petty officer first class and below senior chief petty officer. The grade of chief petty officer was established on 1 April 1893 for the United States Navy. The United States Congress first authorized the Coast Guard to use the promotion to chief petty officer on 18 May 1920. Chief petty officer is also the final cadet grade in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

Prior to 1958, chief petty officer was the highest enlisted grade in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. This changed on 20 May 1958 with the passage Pub.L. 85–422, the Military Pay Act of 1958, which established two new pay grades of E-8 and E-9 in all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. In the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, the new E-8 paygrade was called senior chief petty officer (SCPO) and the new E-9 paygrade master chief petty officer (MCPO), with the first selectees promoting to their respective grades in 1959 and 1960.

Prior to establishment of the E-8 and E-9 grades, chief petty officers could typically serve in uniform for 30 or more years.

Shortly following establishment of the E-8 and E-9 grades, service limits currently known as high year tenure (HYT) were established by pay grade. Although these limits periodically flex based on Fleet manpower requirements, current HYT limits restrict chief petty officers not selected for promotion to senior chief petty officer to 24 years of service, after which they face mandatory retirement.

Similar limits of 26 years for senior chief petty officer and 30 years for master chief petty officer are currently used, with a smaller core of master chief petty officers serving in command, force, and fleet master chief petty officer positions in the Navy, and area Master Chief or the Coast Guard Reserve Force Master Chief in the Coast Guard, being eligible to remain in uniform for 32 to 35 years and with the master chief petty officer of the Navy and the master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard being permitted to remain in uniform until reaching 38 years of service.

Comparative navy enlisted ranks of Africa

Rank comparison chart of enlisted rank for navies of African states.

Comparative navy enlisted ranks of Asia

Rank comparison chart of navies of Asian states.

Comparative navy enlisted ranks of Europe

Rank comparison chart of all navies of European states.

Some European countries do not have naval forces, either because they are landlocked Austria, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Luxembourg, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Slovakia, San Marino and the Vatican (enclaves with Italy), or naval duties provided by another state such as Monaco (provided by France), .

The Cyprus Navy is the naval branch of the Cypriot National Guard.

NATO has a scheme for comparative ranks for member countries, non-NATO countries equivalence is determined against this system.

Comparative navy enlisted ranks of Post-Soviet states

Rank comparison chart of enlisted for all navies of Post-Soviet states.

Comparative navy enlisted ranks of the Americas

Rank comparison chart of navies of North and South American states.

Comparative navy enlisted ranks of the Commonwealth

Rank comparison chart of naval forces of Commonwealth of Nations states.

List of United States Coast Guard enlisted ranks

These charts represents the United States Coast Guard enlisted rank insignia. Ranks are used to describe an enlisted sailor's pay-grade. Ranks are not to be confused with "ratings", which describe the Coast Guard's enlisted occupations. (The rating symbol of crossed anchors depicted in the graphics below are for a boatswain's mate.)

List of United States Navy enlisted rates

In the United States Navy, a rate is the military rank of an enlisted sailor, indicating where an enlisted sailor stands within the chain of command, and also defining one's pay grade. However, in the U.S. Navy, only officers carry the term rank, while it is proper to refer to an enlisted sailor's pay grade as rate. A similar term is rating, which refers to one's area of occupational specialization within the enlisted Navy. Associated with the enlisted pay grades is a numbering system from the most junior enlisted sailor ("E-1") to the most senior enlisted sailor ("E-9"). This enlisted numbering system is the same across all five branches of the U.S. military. All E-1 through E-3 are known as Seamen. E-4 through E-6 are called petty officers. All E-7s are called chief petty officer, E-8s senior chief petty officer, and E-9s master chief petty officer. Rates are displayed on a rating badge, which is a combination of rate and rating. E-2s and E-3s have color-coded group rate marks based on their career field. Personnel in pay grade E-1, since 1996, do not have an insignia to wear.Ratings are earned through "A" schools, which are attended before deployment and after undergoing initial basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, or (less commonly) by "striking" for a rating through on-the-job training (OJT) in the Fleet. Some sailors may undergo additional training in a "C" school either before or after a tour of duty. Upon completion, they are assigned a four-digit Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) code, which identifies a specific skill within their standard rating. This defines what jobs they are qualified to do. For example, some billets might not only require a hospital corpsman first class, but might specify that he/she has NEC 8402 (Submarine Force Independent Duty), NEC 8403 (Fleet Marine Forces Reconnaissance Independent Duty Corpsman), or any other of several NECs depending upon the billet's requirements.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard

The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) is the senior enlisted member of the U.S. Coast Guard and the principal advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard on all enlisted personnel matters.

The holder of this position is equivalent to the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and by protocol is equal to a vice admiral.The MCPOCG is appointed by the Commandant of the Coast Guard to serve as a spokesperson to address the issues of enlisted personnel to the highest levels in the Coast Guard. As such the MCPOCG is the senior enlisted advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. The MCPOCG's exact duties vary, depending on the Commandant, though generally devotes much time traveling throughout the Coast Guard observing training and communicating with Coast Guardsmen and their families. The normal tour of assignment is four years, which runs concurrently with the Commandant of the Coast Guard. The first member to hold this post was MCPOCG Charles L. Calhoun, and the current MCPOCG is Jason M. Vanderhaden.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON ) is a unique non-commissioned rank and position of office of the United States Navy, which has with it the paygrade of E-9. The holder of this position is the most senior enlisted member of the U.S. Navy, equivalent to the Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.

The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy is appointed by the Chief of Naval Operations to serve as a spokesperson to address the issues of enlisted personnel to the highest positions in the Navy. As such, they are the senior enlisted advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations as well as the Chief of Naval Personnel. Their exact duties vary, depending on the CNO, though they generally devote much of their time to traveling throughout the Navy observing training and talking to sailors and their families. Their personnel code is N00D as the senior enlisted advisor to Chief of Naval Operations and PERS-00D in their special advisory capacity to Chief of Naval Personnel/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, and Training). In 1988, the MCPON's spouse was made the Ombudsman-at-Large,w authorizing them to travel around the fleet with their spouse, representing the interests of the spouses of enlisted members. The MCPON serves an appointed two-year team of office but can be reappointed by the CNO for an additional two-year term. Typically; the MCPON serves two terms. While the MCPON is a non-commissioned officer, this rank is protocoled higher than all rear admirals and equivalent to a vice admiral in billet, seating, transportation, and parking. The current MCPON is Russell Smith.

Master chief petty officer

Master chief petty officer (MCPO) is the ninth, and highest, enlisted rank (pay grade E-9) in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, just above senior chief petty officer (SCPO). Master chief petty officers are addressed as "Master Chief (last name)" in the colloquial and they constitute the top 1.25% of the enlisted members of the maritime forces.Prior to 1958, chief petty officer was the highest enlisted rate in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. This changed on 20 May 1958 with the passage of Public Law 85-422, the Military Pay Act of 1958, which established two new enlisted pay grades of E-8 and E-9 in all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. In the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, the new E-8 pay grade was titled Senior Chief Petty Officer and the new E-9 pay grade as master chief petty officer, with the first selectees promoting to their respective grades in 1959 and 1960.

Petty officer first class

Petty Officer First Class (PO1) is the sixth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, ranking just above petty officer second class and directly below chief petty officer. It is designated as non-commissioned officer, as are all petty officer ratings. It is equivalent to the rank of staff sergeant in the Army and Marine Corps, and technical sergeant in the Air Force.

They are all ranked E-6, which refers to the enlisted numbering system associated with pay grades.

Petty officer second class

Petty officer second class is the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, just above petty officer third class and below petty officer first class, and is a non-commissioned officer. It is equivalent to the rank of sergeant in the Army and Marine Corps, and staff sergeant in the Air Force.

Petty officer third class

Petty officer third class is the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, above seaman and below petty officer second class, and is the lowest rank of non-commissioned officer, equivalent to a corporal in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Petty officer third class shares the same pay grade as senior airman in the Air Force, which no longer has an NCO rank corresponding with E-4.

Ranks and insignia of NATO navies enlisted

This table shows the ranks and insignia of NCOs and Seaman in the navies of member countries of NATO. NATO maintains a "standard rank scale" in an attempt to match every member country's military rank to corresponding ranks used by the other members. The rank categories were established in the document STANAG 2116, formally titled NATO Codes for Grades of Military Personnel.

Senior chief petty officer

Senior chief petty officer is an enlisted rank in the navies of some countries.

Navies Armies Air forces
Commissioned officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Field marshal or
General of the army
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier or
brigadier general
Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Lieutenant
commander
Major or
commandant
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Lieutenant
junior grade
or
sub-lieutenant
Lieutenant or
first lieutenant
Flying officer
Ensign or
midshipman
Second lieutenant Pilot officer
Officer cadet Officer cadet Flight cadet
Enlisted grades
Warrant officer or
chief petty officer
Warrant officer or
sergeant major
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Flight sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal or
bombardier
Corporal
Seaman Private or
gunner or
trooper
Aircraftman or
airman
Talk·View
United States enlisted ranks
Pay grade
Branch of service
E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
Private
PVT
Private 2
PV2
Private first class
PFC
Specialist Corporal
SPCCPL
Sergeant
SGT
Staff Sergeant
SSG
Sergeant first class
SFC
Master Sergeant First Sergeant
MSG1SG
Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Army
SGMCSMSMA
Private
Pvt
Private first class
PFC
Lance Corporal
LCpl
Corporal
Cpl
Sergeant
Sgt
Staff Sergeant
SSgt
Gunnery Sergeant
GySgt
Master Sergeant First sergeant
MSgt1stSgt
Master Gunnery Sergeant Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
MGySgtSgtMajSMMC
Seaman recruit
SR
Seaman apprentice
SA
Seaman
SN
Petty Officer Third Class
PO3
Petty Officer Second Class
PO2
Petty Officer first class
PO1
Chief Petty Officer
CPO
Senior Chief Petty Officer Command Senior Chief Petty Officer
SCPOCMDCS
Master Chief Petty Officer Command Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet Master Chief Petty Officer / Force Master Chief Petty Officer Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
MCPOCMDCMFORCM, FLTCMMCPON
Airman basic
AB
Airman
Amn
Airman first class
A1C
Senior Airman
SrA
Staff Sergeant
SSgt
Technical sergeant
TSgt
Master Sergeant Master Sergeant
MSgt1st Sgt
Senior Master Sergeant Senior Master Sergeant
SMSgt1st Sgt
Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant Command Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
CMSgt1st SgtCCMCMSAF
Seaman Recruit
SR
border
SA
border
SN
Petty Officer Third Class
PO3
Petty Officer Second Class
PO2
Petty Officer first class
PO1
Chief Petty Officer
CPO
Senior Chief Petty Officer
SCPO
Master Chief Petty Officer Command Master Chief Petty Officer Area Command Master Chief Petty Officer, CMC Reserve Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
MCPOCMC – Area CMC, CGRF-CMC – MCPOCG

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