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WWII Naval Education and Training
During WWII all Navy veterans were required to pass basic training courses, such as swimming and small arms. The required skills tests were conducted throughout the wartime service of the individual WWII Navy veteran and the results of the tests and training were placed among the military service records in the WWII veteran’s official military personnel file.
The outdated, pre-WWII Navy ratings system (the assigned duties of individual sailors) had to be updated when the U.S. entered the war, and sub-ratings were added along with new specialty qualification courses for each new duty. Specialty courses were offered for specific jobs such as radioman, machinist’s mate, or a pharmacist’s mate. Many of the WWII military service records in the WWII Navy official military personnel file contain ‘marks earned’ (essentially a performance grading system) during training courses, as well as certificates for courses that were successfully completed by the individual WWII Navy veteran. The WWII era naval certificates covering education and qualification for specific naval jobs allow us to track the performance and duties of the individual WWII Navy veteran from basic training through demobilization.
The Navy History and Heritage Command has a great breakdown of the WWII era (and for other periods as well) ratings here:Navy rating system
The WWII Navy military service records pertaining to the training and qualification of individual sailors during WWII can help us to understand exactly what a WWII Navy veteran was doing while aboard their specific ships of assignment. Many of the skills which were acquired by WWII navy veterans during their time in the service were taken back to civilian life and utilized after WWII demobilization. WWII training and qualification documents in the WWII Navy military service record can thus enable us to develop a full picture, covering both the individual veteran’s military duties and sometimes their later civilian career as well.
If you are interested in learning more about your veteran’s education, training, and jobs while they served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, these records can be found in the WWII military service records contained in your veteran’s official military personnel file at the National Archives. Each veteran’s story is different so you never know what you might find inside of the WWII Navy service records of your veteran. The only way to find out what records covering the jobs and education your WWII Navy veteran held is to request their WWII Navy military service records. To request the WWII Navy military service records of your veteran please visit our ordering page here: Access WWII Navy military service records.