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Need Help Understanding Navy Ratings for Spanish-American War


usmedalman
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usmedalman

I am attempting to put the navy ratings on Sampson medals into some sort of perspective base on their Petty Officer rank equivalent. I understand that US Navy adopted new ratings in 1894, but I cannot locate an official diagram showing the new changes that would be similar to the one published in US Navy Regulation Circular 41 of 1885. I did find the attached diagram produced on a uniform forum and was wondering if any experts could comment on the accuracy of the chart.

 

Thanks in advance for your insights and assistance.

 

 

Screenshot_2021-04-04 Early US Navy Enlisted Rating Badges, 1885-1894.jpg

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Justin B.

I made that chart; it is based on primary-source documentation and accurate to the best of my knowledge.

 

There were a few changes by the Spanish-American period:

 

1. June 1897: New rating of gun captain (chief, 1st and 2nd class), specialty mark a foul anchor.

2. April 1898: New rating of electrician (chief, 1st and 2nd class), specialty mark a world globe.

3. June 1898: Hospital steward (chief) replaced apothecary, and new rating of Hospital Apprentice 1st class (3rd class PO with one stripe) added, specialty mark a red cross.

 

 

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usmedalman

Justin, thanks for the reply, and thanks for the chart. This gives me the opportunity to ask, I see many medals with the rating of Fireman 1c and 2c, but don't see this rating on your chart. Was this eliminated as part of the changes in mid-1898? I also read on the NHHC web site that there were two classes of Hospital Apprentice, the 2c replacing the rate of Bayman.

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usmedalman
13 minutes ago, usmedalman said:

Justin, thanks for the reply, and thanks for the chart. This gives me the opportunity to ask, I see many medals with the rating of Fireman 1c and 2c, but don't see this rating on your chart. Was this eliminated as part of the changes in mid-1898? I also read on the NHHC web site that there were two classes of Hospital Apprentice, the 2c replacing the rate of Bayman.

I think I just answered my questions.  Bayman was a seaman rate, as were Firemen 1c and 2c (I had assumed 1c and 2c were equating to PO ranks). So that explains why they were not part of the chart.

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Justin B.

Yeah, that chart comes from a page that was showing the evolution of rating badges, so petty officers only.

 

Here are two pay charts from the period in question. 1898:

navy_ratings_1898.png.d27e9591a0f09d3c9f63552efc6e8f8e.png

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Justin B.

And 1899. Most Navy Registers had pay tables at the back, which listed all enlisted rates until 1924 when they just went with pay grade.

 

navy_ratings_1899.png.263bb1fa12c3ae9948f9ceffb5620c7c.png

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usmedalman
14 hours ago, Justin B. said:

And 1899. Most Navy Registers had pay tables at the back, which listed all enlisted rates until 1924 when they just went with pay grade.

 

navy_ratings_1899.png.263bb1fa12c3ae9948f9ceffb5620c7c.png

Thanks for taking all the time to educate me. As an old Infantryman, the Navy rating/rank system seems like rocket science.

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Justin B.
7 hours ago, usmedalman said:

Thanks for taking all the time to educate me. As an old Infantryman, the Navy rating/rank system seems like rocket science.

 

No problem, it can be obscure! And I missed one change:

Sept 1896: Title of "writer" 1st, 2nd and 3rd class changed to "yeoman."

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