Meet the Navy’s first robotics warfare specialist

by Vern Evans

The Navy pinned the service’s very first robotics warfare specialist on Tuesday – less than a week after the service unveiled the new rating.

Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman and the Navy’s Personnel Plans and Policy Division Director Rear Adm. Jim Waters pinned the new rating insignia on Master Chief Christopher Rambert at Naval Support Facility Arlington, Virginia.

The rating, referred to as RW, operates both active and passive payload systems and sensors, while maintaining these robotics systems, according to a naval administrative message, or NAVADMIN, released this month.

The Navy hailed the rating as a “major milestone” for the service as it pursues a hybrid fleet, and has been in the works for more than three years. Additionally, the rating’s creation means the Navy is the first branch of the military to create a specific enlisted workforce that oversees unmanned and autonomous technology.

“It’s really an awesome feeling to be the first one to represent the rating,” said Rambert, who previously served as an aviation electrician’s mate, said in a Navy press release. “And to see this rating finally come to fruition, you can see the level of excitement, and passion from the other Sailors that are out there.”

The primary pool of applicants converting to the new rating will come from those assigned to billets in unmanned vehicle divisions and those with applicable Navy enlisted classification codes, according to the service.

Still, the Navy claims the rating is “highly selective,” and that “community requirements and employment will determine the manning numbers.”

Active duty sailors between the ranks of E-4 and E-9 may submit a request to convert. Commands will coordinate with their superior command and enlisted community manager so they can apply.

The Navy-wide robotics warfare advancement exam will launch in September for E-5 and E-6 sailors, while higher ranks will complete the exam and screening board in 2025.

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