WASHINGTON, December 20, 2013 (NNS) – The career path for the interior communications electrician (IC) rating now includes the rank of master chief (E9), and the IC rating’s E3 and below Sailors are re-designated from fireman to seaman, according to a NAVADMIN 320/13, released Dec. 19.
This formalizes the IC rate’s evolution away from its source rate of Electrician’s Mate (EM), and its shift in mission focus from engineering to combat systems, said Surface Enlisted Community Manager Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Seigler.
All changes will be in effect by May 1, 2014, at which time all IC personnel E3 and below must have converted their uniform insignia to reflect the re-designation.
The first Interior Communications Electrician Master Chiefs (ICCM) will be chosen from selection board-eligible senior chief interior communications electricians (ICCS) in the fiscal year 2015 (FY15) Master Chief Petty Officer Advancement Selection Board.
Previously, ICCSs competed with Senior Chief Electrician’s Mates (EMCS) for advancement to E9 as master chief electrician’s mates (EMCM).
“To say that I’m excited is an understatement,” said Master Chief Electrician’s Mate Ted Hillebrand, previously an ICCS. “I’ve been waiting 28 years for this day, and there’s more than 2,000 ICs that have been waiting for this. It’s a historical moment for the IC rating.”
Hillebrand, however, will remain an EMCM, since the policy change will not convert legacy ICs serving as EMCMs back to ICs.
Hillebrand said having ICCMs allows sailors to pursue the goal of reaching E9 without worrying about having to change rates and will provide senior enlisted mentors that can focus specifically on the needs of the IC community.
Initially, eight EMCM billets will be redesignated for ICCM, and the new ICCMs will be phased in gradually as these positions become vacant, said Seigler.
“Expect normal advancement opportunities going forward,” added Seigler.
The IC rating was derived from the EM rating in 1948, a time when communication technology consisted primarily of devices like sound-power phones and radios.
“Over the years the job requirements and the overall type of work electrician’s mates and interior communications electricians were doing diverged,” said Master Chief Fire Controlman Joel Conrad, technical advisor for surface combat systems.
Today, IC work focuses on electronic navigational systems, visual landing systems, secure voice and video teleconferencing networks, and fiber optic data systems, said Hillebrand.
Conrad adds, “The interior communications networks are far more digital, and the changes in the rating occupational standards and the watch qualifications in the IC community now more accurately align them with the combat systems ratings than the engineering ratings.”
The Naval Education and Training Command’s (NETC) sub-command, responsible for IC “A” and “C” Schools, changes from the Center for Naval Engineering to the Center for Surface Combat Systems, based in Dahlgren, Va.
“This is part of an evolutionary process that different ratings go through, and this is a natural step,” said Seigler. “It’s a good thing for the IC community and we’re looking forward to getting the ICCMs out in the fleet.”
For the latest news from the Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/ and follow @usnpeople on Twitter.