The White House is standing by the decision of U.S. Navy leaders to “modernize” the service’s enlisted ranking system after thousands of individuals petitioned President Obama to roll back the changes.
The Navy announced in September that it would eliminate its 91 enlisted ratings titles, subjecting sailors to job classification similar to the the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The review of the service’s job titles was ordered by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who wanted to ensure that the Navy and Marine Corps titles are gender neutral.
The new enlisted rating system sparked massive criticism from current and former service members on social media, with more than 100,000 individuals signing onto a White House petition demanding the Obama administration restore the 240-year-old enlisted ranking system.
The White House responded to the petition this week, standing by the Navy’s argument that the new system will allow sailors to more easily enter the civilian workforce after retiring from the military and describing the outrage as “friction” typically caused by cultural changes.