U.S.S. Little Rock
CL 92 / CLG 4 / CG 4


* * * The ET Rating * * *

ET Badge

Page last updated: 15 September, 2018

General Info:

The Electronics Technician (ET) rating was established in 1948. Prior to 1948 those in that rating were called Electronics Technician's Mates (ETM).
The ETM rating evolved out of the old Radio Technician (RT) rating in 1945. (See Note 1. below.)

Today's ETs work on the electronic equipment found in virtually every environment in which the Navy operates. ETs operate, maintain and repair the electronic, computer and control mechanisms used aboard Navy ships and at most Navy bases.

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Note 1. Following is the Dec 1943 Job Description for Radio Technicians (from the US Navy Interviewer's Classification Guide, NAVPERS 16701)::

 DUTIES: Maintains and repairs radios, radar and sonar equipment. Must understand circuit diagrams, principles of various types of vacuum tubes, direct and alternating current, wave theory, etc. (Considerable theoretical knowledge is required).

 EQUIPMENT USED: Long wave, intermediate wave, short wave, and ultra-high-frequency receivers, transmitters, direction finders, underwater sound, Radar, aircraft homing apparatus, control systems, loudspeakers, amplifiers, interior communications systems, echo-ranging equipment, telegraph outfits, storage batteries, motor generator sets, transmission lines. Electrical bench tools, electric meters and testing apparatus, hand tools.

 TYPES OF BILLETS: All but the smallest ships. Shore bases.

•  MINIMUM TEST SCORES: Must pass Radio Technician Test; GCT 60; ARI 55; MK ELEC 55.

 PERSONAL: Manual dexterity. Interest in studying. Age 17 - 40.

 MISCELLANEOUS: High school training desirable, preferably including algebra, trigonometry, physics, elementary electricity. Hobby as "Ham Operator" helpful. Mechanical hobbies dealing with small parts, such as model construction, helpful.

What They Do:

Electronics Technicians (ETs) are responsible for electronic equipment used to send and receive messages, detect enemy planes and ships, and determine target distance. They must maintain, repair, calibrate, tune, and adjust all electronic equipment used for communications, detection and tracking, recognition and identification, navigation, and electronic countermeasures.

ETs must complete Apprentice Technical Training (ATT), followed by Electronics Technician "A" School. Enlisted members who satisfactorily complete initial Electronics Technician "A" school training are designated as ETs upon graduation.

Once "A" school is complete, most ETs advance to a "C" school to specialize on  one specific system used aboard ship. This earns them a DNEC (Distributable Navy Enlisted Classification), which is further used to determine where they will be stationed after schooling is finished. "A" and "C" school training may take 2 years or more and frequently requires the sailor to extend their enlistment to 6 years.

General Rating

ET  Electronics Technician (1948 - Present)
Service (Specialty) Rating

ETN   Electronics Technician Communications
ETN   Electronics Technician Navigation (Ballistic Missile Subs to c1980)
ETR   Electronics Technician Radar
ETS    Electronics Technician Sonar
ETSS  Electronics Technician Submarines


ETs at wotk USS Baltimore

ET's at work aboard USS Baltimore, ca. 1951-1956
Official U.S. Navy Photo



ET Soldering PC Board

ET2 (SW) Rebecca Mueller repairs a circuit card.
Official U.S. Navy photo



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