main story image for facebook sharing

Training and Education

Bees to Badges

5 things you need to know to convert from a Seabee rating to a Master-at-Arms

Let's face it. Some rates are hard to advance in. CNP's Bees to Badges retention program provides Seabees an opportunity to cross-rate to Master-at-Arms.

Take the Seabee's Engineering Aide (EA) rate, for example. The Navy only advanced ONE first class petty officer off the March 2015 exam, a 100 percent improvement to last cycle's zero percent advancement. To say the EA advancement chances are slim is an overwhelming understatement.

Enter the Bees to Badges program, a Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) initiative for Seabees to apply for conversion to the Master-at-Arms (MA) rate prior to their CWAY window.

The goal of this program is to balance the overmanned Seabee community while simultaneously supporting the expected steady growth of the MA rating. This is a voluntary program, and it allows active duty Seabees to apply for conversion outside of Soft Expiration of Active Obligated Service (SEAOS) or Projected Rotation Date (PRD) window, very helpful if the Seabee wants to stay in.

The Seabee's security, small arms and crew-served weapons skill sets are in line with the MA skill sets, providing for a smooth transition to the rate.

Navy Photo

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Schneider

Here are 5 things you need to know about the program:

1. The program is open to all Seabee rates E4-E6, specifically targeting year groups 1999-2008 and 2012. Seabees with NECs 5633, 5931, 5932, 5933 are ineligible for this program.

2. Qualified Seabees must submit a commanding officer-endorsed 1306/7 to the Seabee Enlisted Community Manager (ECM) through their command career counselor. Sea duty CO's should, if needed, recommend the 1306 no earlier than the start of the deployment or other command operations.

3. Review and meet the MA requirements set forth in the MPM 1440-010.

Navy Photo

- Letter of recommendation from a chief, senior chief, master chief MA or a 649X/749X security officer. If unavailable an MA1 letter with an additional command master chief or senior enlisted advisor signature below the MA1 is acceptable.
- Copy of valid state driver's license.
- Documented negative in drug-screening test within last 30 days (memo from command urinalysis coordinator is acceptable).
- Copy of evals covering last 36 months.
- Copy of signed Lautenberg Act DD FORM 2760.
- Normal color perception & vision correctable to 20/20, found on DD FORM 2808 or SF600 in medical record.
- PFA results from last 4 years.

4. The Seabee must be at their command for 18-months prior to eligibility for the rate conversion. CONUS shore command personnel can request "time on board" waiver to Seabee ECM.

5. The Seabee ECM will validate a candidate's eligibility and forward to the MA ECM who will further scrutinize the package. Service members must be within Navy PFA standards before reporting to MA school.

For more information please contact MA ECM Lt. Cmdr. David Macias at 901-874-2975 or at or MACM Frank Lewandowski at 901-874-2080 or at

For more information on the Bees to Badges program click the link below: