Ship's Serviceman Rating Now Retail Service Specialist

Story Number: NNS191002-03Release Date: 10/2/2019 9:32:00 AM
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By Tina C. Stillions, Director Office of Corporate Communications, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka , The Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka (FLCY) ship’s serviceman (SH) Sailor will now be referred to as a retail services specialist (RS), effective Oct. 1.

According to the chief of naval personnel, the new rating was developed to help modernize and keep with the Navy’s efforts to translate military service occupations to the civilian sector.

NAVSUP FLCY Commanding Officer Capt. Frank Nevarez said the rating change not only aligns with the Navy’s Sailor 2025 program but will assist Sailors leaving naval service with their future employment needs.

“The Navy is looking for better ways to recruit and retain our future force. Sailor 2025 is part of the Navy’s modernization program to meet that need,” said Nevarez. “At the same time, we want to make sure that our Sailors have the job skills they need to make them more employable if they decide to leave military service and transition to the private sector.”

Rating modernization is key to the success of Sailor 2025. By providing flexibility and greater choices, the Navy can redefine career fields, improve detailing, offer more career choices and expand professional development opportunities for Sailors.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Pablo Ayala, a retail services specialist with FLCY, said rate modernization is a better way to redefine career fields to be more competitive in the civilian workforce.

“Most of us – when asked by a civilian person what our job is in the Navy – respond with ‘I’m a ship’s serviceman.’ The title isn’t enough to describe our job. We always have to follow that up with a brief description of what we do,” said Ayala. “Retail services specialist will give a better understanding from a non-military perspective of what we do every day to support the fleet.”

The Navy’s retail service specialist is a vital link to forward deployed naval forces throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Not only do they provide direct personal services by operating and managing retail and service activities, but they are often responsible for operating ship stores and vending, shipboard barbershops, laundry operations and hotel services.

Over the course of many years, the retail service specialist rating has changed names, from the early years as barber (SSMB), laundryman (SSML), cobbler (SSMC), tailor (SSMT) and ship’s serviceman to today’s more modern-day name. The scope of responsibility for a contemporary retail service specialist has expanded greatly throughout the years, too. In addition to knowledge about inventory control and management, a retail services specialist will often need to know about operating Navy cash readers, maintaining financial and accounting systems and e-commerce as well. Retail service specialists are an integral part of the FLCY team that helps deliver high-quality supply and logistics solutions for maritime warfighter readiness. That teamwork ensures FLCY remains the principal logistics enabler for the Navy’s forward deployed naval forces throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at, and

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