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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> What does a rating mean?
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Author Topic:  What does a rating mean?
ndonath
Junior Member
Member # 11517

Posts: 19
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: 9/8/2013
posted 6/20/2020 9:17:27 AM    Click here to view the profile for ndonath  Click here to email ndonath  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hi all, I have occasionally asked questions about my dads service with the 12th and here is another one:

My dad came to Camp Barkeley in March 1944. (He was at college with the ASTP before it was disbanded.) He wrote his parents shortly after his arrival, I will be assigned to the 17th Armoured Infantry Battalion. Battalion H.Q. probably in the message center. I have no hopes for any rating for the 12th has been activated for 18 months.

In another letter he wrote: Although my chances are very slim for getting a rating, if Im offered one Im going to be mighty careful in accepting it. This sounds funny but I have been in the Army long enough to know the ropes. It may be for the best I stay a private. There are some ratings in the 17th I wouldnt touch for $1000 a month.

Can you guys tell me what he was talking about with the rating? I have a general idea but I am not sure and hope you can explain.

Thank you!
Nina
(daughter of William E. Woody, HQ Co/17th AIB)


Garandomatic
Junior Member
Member # 35332

Posts: 30
From: Ohio
Registered: 8/15/2016
posted 6/22/2020 9:00:14 AM    Click here to view the profile for Garandomatic  Click here to email Garandomatic  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I'd have to guess that he primarily means rank and possibly a position of authority or other job to do. Increased rank meant increased pay, and possibly an opportunity for advancement in civilian life after the war. Sounds like he was thinking that the unit had been together for a while, and already had its command structure in place. The second letter you mention sounds like he realized some promotions weren't the greatest!

The Navy rank system actually uses the term "rating," and basically means just that- a combination of rank and a job. For example, in the army, you can be a sergeant in a squad, maybe infantry, maybe motorpool, etc., but nobody calls you "motorpoolman," you're just "sarge." In the Navy, the equivalent to sergeant is a to be a Petty Officer 1st Class, but your shoulder patch has a symbol that denotes what you do. Gunner's Mate 1st Class, Torpedoman 1st Class, Electrician's Mate 1st Class, etc.

Bob Scherer
Junior Member
Member # 119

Posts: 98
From: Yardley, PA
Registered: 10/11/2005
posted 6/24/2020 12:39:36 PM    Click here to view the profile for Bob Scherer  Click here to email Bob Scherer  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hi Nina,

Josh is correct. In my research I've often seen references to "ratings", and the always refer to rank. I was a common term in the Army back then, but it was pretty much replaced by the term "rank". Although the Navy has kept the term and a rating not only tells your pay grade (rank) it also tells you occupational specialty. Hope you're doing well!
Bob

ndonath
Junior Member
Member # 11517

Posts: 19
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: 9/8/2013
posted 6/27/2020 10:07:19 AM    Click here to view the profile for ndonath  Click here to email ndonath  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Thanks so much! I thought it might be something to do with getting a rank but I wasn't sure. I appreciate your replies. Bob, I am doing well. My research on my dad's service has mostly ended and I can go no further. There are things I will never know. I am making real progress writing my book based on his service. I am up to the part where the 12th left Camp Shanks for England. Best Regards, Nina