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In the U.S. Navy, "signalman" (usually nicknamed "Flags" or "Skivvy Waver") was a job field combining both visual communications, and advanced lookout skills. While there was certainly a Signalman rating before World War II (the Signalman rating is one of the oldest in the Navy), a specialized Signalman rating was established shortly after the war. Then, Signalmen were identified by the symbol of two crossed semaphore flags on the right sleeve of the uniform, integrated with their rank insignia. Signalmen were responsible for transmitting, receiving, encoding, decoding, and distributing messages obtained via the visual transmission systems of flag semaphore, visual morse code, and flaghoist signalling. The U.S. Navy disestablished the rating of Signalman in late 2003, reassigning visual communications duties to the Quartermaster rating. Signalmen were either absorbed into the Quartermaster rating, or allowed to switch to other job fields in the Navy. Many chose the Master-at-Arms rating, which expanded dramatically to meet the needs of the Navy in the War on Terror.

Veterans: 10
Latest Activity: Feb 12, 2019

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Comment by Roberto Ramos on April 14, 2014 at 10:39pm

Welcome onboard Patrick. RM's have always been part of OC Division. We had a lot in common. I learned how to operate a radio handset as a boat SM, with the help of my RM buddies.

Comment by Patrick J Gibney IV on April 11, 2014 at 12:13pm

Can an old retired RM sign in here for just a bit?  First, didn't know the SM rating was cut in 2003.  RM's were integrated into IS's after I retired in '95.  Can remember the guys from the bridge "back in the day."  RM's and SM's were good buddies on my ship.  Remember inport going "on top of the house" and shooting the breeze with anybody that would answer my AA call, this using the hand key.  Good memories!

Comment by Roy Keeney on April 11, 2014 at 3:50am

Thank you for accepting me as the newest member of the signal gang!! V/R SM1 (SW) USN Retired

Comment by John W. Condon Sr. on April 9, 2014 at 5:30pm

Thank you. Glad to be on board

Comment by John W. Condon Sr. on April 9, 2014 at 5:27pm

Comment by Roberto Ramos on April 8, 2014 at 9:29pm
Welcome aboard the signal Bridge SM2 Condon.
Comment by Roberto Ramos on July 17, 2013 at 11:51am

Welcome Paul Durkee to the Signal gang. Are you an SMC? we are looking for the chief of the Signal Gang.

Comment by Roberto Ramos on July 17, 2013 at 11:48am

Welcome SM 1 Roseberry. NIce to see you join the Signal Gang.

Comment by Roberto Ramos on July 15, 2013 at 9:57pm

NIce pic shipmate. SM1 Ramos

Comment by Gregory Suber on June 20, 2013 at 5:36pm


Veterans (10)


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