From Stripes to Anchors: The Navy’s Chief-Selects

By Erik Wright, National Museum of the American Sailor Education Specialist

As the sharp formations of sailors with ornately decorated charge book vessels and anxious faces came marching up to the National Museum of the American Sailor, one uniform was slightly different than the rest. Among the nearly one hundred promotable petty officers first class was a service member with Air Force E-7 rank. Continue reading


Navy Cooks: May the Packey Schwartz Be With You

By Therese Gonzalez, National Museum of the American Sailor Museum Specialist

It’s been said that the “way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” and for the United States Navy, that saying is certainly appropriate. Food builds not just bodies, but also morale. As stated in U.S. Navy and What It Offers, 1920, a “good cook is one of the most popular men aboard ship.” Continue reading

Navy’s STEM Program Sparks Growth in Education Techniques

STEM Workshop at NSGL 1

Navy’s STEM Workshop at Naval Station Great Lakes, March 15, 2017

By Erik Wright, National Museum of the American Sailor Education Specialist

Within the education world, standards are constantly changing, material and curriculums are always being updated, and we’re learning more and more about our physical and natural world on an almost daily basis.  But with the increasingly busy schedules of teachers, rapidly growing class sizes, and ever shrinking budgets, how and when are educators supposed to find the time and resources to stay relevant and up-to-date on educational standards and training?  This is a question the Department of the Navy (DoN), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the education department of the National Museum of the American Sailor grapple with in an effort to ensure that our nations educators have the necessary tools and training to produce the highest caliber students possible (students who might become future sailors and leaders). Continue reading

Goats are Good Luck for Navy and the Cubs

NH 122773 Great Lakes Baseball Team, 1918

Great Lakes Baseball Team, 1918. George Halas is in the top row, 5th from the right.

By Martin Tuohy, Archivist, and Dan Smaczny, Contract Curator, National Museum of the American Sailor

Every April, hope springs eternal on baseball’s opening day.  The American entrance into World War I on April 6, 1917, however, plunged the baseball season into a national emergency.  In Chicago, the Cubs baseball team – and the U.S. Navy – responded with fervent patriotism.

On April 12, 1917, six days after U.S. entry into the war, the Navy sent sailors from U.S. Naval Training  Station, Great Lakes to Weeghman Park,

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The Mother of Naval Station Great Lakes

MoffetBeginning in 1908, when Congress authorized a female Nurse Corps of the United States Navy, women began to officially serve their country in times of both war and peace. Since then, whether they are civilians, enlisted personnel, or Naval officers, the women of Naval Station Great Lakes have etched their places into the history of this base through both word and action.   One of these women is known as the “Mother of Naval Station Great Lakes. Jeanette Whitton Moffett was the wife of Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, commander of the Great Lakes Naval Training Station from 1914 to 1918. She reported to Great Lakes with her husband in September of 1914. Initially, she settled into a ladylike social life and focused her attentions on raising her 6 children, but soon found other outlets for her energies.

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Rated M

2-22 M Rating

Specialist (M) Third Class patch on the uniform of Thomas Francis Martin 

The U.S. Navy’s rating system is always in flux. As new technology replace old, new rates are created and old ones become obsolete. In other cases, old ratings are merged into a new rating. Such is the case of the Specialist (M) rating, which existed for only two years (1942-1944). A recent donation of q uniform with the Specialist (M) Third Class rating led us to investigate this now-defunct rating.


A variety of Specialist ratings existed in the Navy from 1942-1948. These were made to accommodate special skills needed in wartime that didn’t fit into the ratings structure already in place. Specialist (M) was created for Navy mail clerks. This became the Mailman rating in 1944.  But just four years later, Mailman, along with Radioman, Telegrapher, Specialist (Q) (Registered Publication Clerks), and Yeoman, became a part of the job function of the newly-established Teleman rating.

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Partnering for a Purpose

2-8 Homeless vetMembers of the Armed Forces, regardless of the branch they serve in, form a bond during their initial days of enlistment. They look out for one another during training, down-time, deployments, and everything-in-between. This fellowship is not only woven into the fabric of the uniforms they wear, but also into the principles and characters of these individuals as they perform dangerous duties day-in and day-out.

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