Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson says that he underestimated the negative feedback that the Navy received when they decided to eliminate job titles, The Navy Times reported.
In late September, Richardson announced that the Navy would be getting rid of all of their enlisted ratings and that the service would be headed in a new direction.
Military officials said that the purpose for the change is so that service members can more easily adjust to civilian life and no longer be defined by their job titles by broadening their career fields. The decision received a great deal of backlash from sailors since Navy ratings have been around for centuries.
The ratings system was also scrapped because of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’s order to make ratings “gender neutral” and take words such as “man” out of their titles, like “Fire Controlman 1st Class John Doe,” for example.
“I underestimated how fiercely loyal people were to their rating, I’ve gotten a fair amount of feedback on that,” Richardson said. “So we kind of [underestimated] the loyalty with which people affiliated themselves with that rating tribe. So as we go forward, we’ll learn,.”
Richardson said that he felt it was a better decision to make a plan and make adjustments over time rather than spend months creating a full implementation plan.
“I wanted to do just enough study to make sure we weren’t going to run into any brick walls and then we’ll go through this together, we’ll learn together and we’ll adjust,” he said. “We’ll do this in measured ways, we’ll have your feedback and input the whole way, and I think we’ll get it right that way.”