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Navy Creates Seabee Master Chief Rating - Here's Why

05 March 2021

From MC1 Mark D. Faram, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

After an extensive review of the senior enlisted Seabee community, the decision was made to create a single rating at the E-9 level.

Effective March 15, all Seabee ratings will now compress into a single rating at the E-9 level, Seabee Master Chief (CBCM), eliminating the three existing E-9 compression ratings currently in the community. 

The move, announced in NAVADMIN 054/21, released March 5,  will result in an immediate title change for all current Seabee E-9's in the Constructionman Master Chief (CUCM), Equipmentman Master Chief (EQCM) and Utilities Constructionman Master Chief to CBCM. The rating change applies to both Active-Duty and Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors.

The positive impact of the change on the enlisted Seabee community will be felt over time. However, it is expected to give Sailors a more natural career progression and increased advancement opportunity at the highest enlisted rank. 

"After an extensive review of current Naval Construction Force (NCF) Master Chief billets was conducted, it was determined that the majority of the billets can be filled by any Seabee Master Chief regardless of source rating," wrote Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., in the message. 

"This initiative directly supports Sailor 2025 and Rating Modernization by creating an opportunity for the NCF to leverage a larger pool of qualified Senior Chiefs to advance to Master Chief."

Because the numbers of billets open to Sailors decrease as they move up in rank, this means qualified Senior Chiefs will no longer be limited to advancing to vacancy in their source ratings. Instead, CBCMs will be selected from the best and most fully qualified Senior Chiefs across the entire force, ensuring that the most qualified E-8 candidates advance each year.

No action is required by the Sailors. The change in ratings will happen automatically on March 15, the message said. There will be no new rating badge either, instead, current source ratings badges will be retained.  

The fiscal-year 2022 E-9 Active and Reserve selection boards will be the first where sailors will be advanced from E-8 into the CBCM rating. The Reserve board convenes in April 2021, while the active-duty board will follow in June.

The move does not impact the CUCM rating compression of Builder, Engineering Aide and Steelworker at the E-8 level created in 2015. Career Progression for Sailors in those ratings will stay the same through E-8.

Though the review found that any Seabee Master Chief can fill over 90 percent of E-9 billets in the CRF, officials have decided to also track each Sailor by their source rating. This allows Sailors to be easily identified for filling the few billets requiring rating-specific skills.    

As a result, all existing and future CUCM, EQCM and UCCM personnel will be awarded an NEC code to identify their source rating. More details on this and a list of codes are available in NAVADMIN 054/21.

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