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

* * * The SK Rating * * *

CS Badge

Storekeeper (SK),

Page last updated: 23 January, 2018

General Info:

One of the oldest Navy Ratings, Storekeepers are charged with maintaining the Navy's supplies. They are one of the Navy ratings that perform “behind the scenes”. Storekeepers order, receive, inventory and issue all repair parts and general supplies for the ship. In addition they maintain the records of all government funds used to resupply the ship

WWII Job Description

from US Navy Interviewer's Classification Guide NAVPERS 16701 Dec 1943

DUTIES: Receives, stores and issues equipment, supplies, material, or tools. Procures supplies, and checks incoming items against orders. Fills requisitions for stock. Takes inventories. Maintains records, including vouchers, invoices, stock cards, and requisition forms. Operates typewriter and office machines. May sell merchandise in Ship's Service Stores. Handles disbursing and fiscal accounting under supervision of Supply Officer.

EQUIPMENT USED: Record keeping equipment, ledgers, files, invoices, public vouchers, stock cards, requisitions, storage and stock room facilities, packaging and shipping facilities.

TYPES OF BILLETS: Most ships and all except the smallest shore stations.

What They Do:

<>SK's order, receive, inventory and issue spare parts, clothing and general supplies. Airborne units require SK's to be air cargo specialists for loading of aircraft. SK's are required to operate computer systems to account for supplies and to keep financial and inventory records. They may also be required to perform duties associated with hazardous material, as well as being responsible for investigating, receiving, transferring, and properly training in all hazardous waste from all Navy commands.

Some typical SK job titles include:

•    Recordskeeper
•   <>Receiving Storekeeper
•   Storeroom Storekeeper
•   Issueroom Storekeeper
•   Requisitioning Storekeeper
•   Technical Librarian

<>Technical Training Information: <>The SK “A” School, at the Naval Technical Training Center in Meridian, Mississippi, training course is currently 16 weeks in duration and and focuses on the Navy supply system organization ashore and afloat, typing, basic English skills in grammar and spelling.

Applicants are expected to write legibly and neatly while also being able to handle office machines.

After "A" school, storekeepers may be assigned to ships or shore stations in the United States or overseas. On shore duty, they are usually assigned to naval stations, supply depots, centers and staffs. In a 20-year period in the Navy, Sk's may spend 55 percent of their time assigned to fleet units and 45 percent to shore stations.

Working Environment:

In addition to shipboard duty, Storekeepers may work in offices or warehouses at shore stations, and air cargo terminals at naval air stations. The work is physical and they operate as part of the resupply team. The varied working locations provide an excellent opportunity for learning a wide range of inventory management, cargo loading, computer operation and accounting skills. Sk's work aboard every type of ship and shore base in the Navy.

Other descriptions: The Storekeeper rating is a GENERAL RATING; there are no longer any service (specialty) ratings.  Storekeepers order, receive, inspect, stow, preserve, package, ship, and issue materials. They also account for Navy-owned material (equipage, repair parts, consumables, and  subsistence items); prepare forms, correspondence, and reports; maintain records and files; and  operate office equipment.

From Wikipedia: One of the oldest Navy Ratings, Storekeepers are tasked with maintaining ship or company supply stores. Their responsibilities generally include purchasing and procurement, shipping and receiving, and issuing of equipment, tools, consumable items or anything else obtained through the Naval Supply System. Storekeepers are trained at the Naval Technical Training Center in Meridian, Mississippi. Undesignated or non-rate sailors may also strike for SK without attending NTTC Meridian's Storekeeper "A" School.

General Rating

SK Storekeeper  (1916 - Present )

AK Aviation Storekeeper
(merged with SK in July 2003)

Effective 01 Oct 2009 the Storekeeper (SK) and Postal clerk (PC) ratings merged to become Logistics Specialist (LS). The SK rating badge is used to represent the new LS rating.
Service (Specialty) Ratings
(No longer in use)

SKD  Disbursing Storekeeper ( -1948) (to DK)
Aviation Storekeeper (1943-1948) (to AK)
SK(CBS) - Storekeeper (Construction Battalion) (Stevedore)
Storekeeper Engineer
SKG  Storekeeper General
Storekeeper Technical

Comments from the Crew

Lewis O. Wood SK1,  1959-61

18 May 2008

Memories of the Little Rock are many, mostly pleasant. I reported aboard in October 1959, in the temporary supply office, at Camden, NJ. Berthing was in the barracks, at Philadelphia, PA.
Since there has always been a sailor's desire for coffee, and none was yet available, I took up a collection and got a 100 cup pot and some cups. Each member got his own cup, with his name and rank/rate painted on it. This was suitable while we only had supply and administrative personnel. Soon we had engineering personnel and this meant another pot, in another location. Coffee was helping us stay with the burden that we all felt, as commissioning a ship has a lot of work, before the crew can actually be aboard.
Along about the end of January 1960, there were all kinds of personnel being sent into the barracks, to comprise the crew and to be trained, as many of them were fresh out of boot camp, or their first school. You can imagine how I felt, trying to contend with all of these "boots", since I already had nearly 16 years of service. One scene stands out. It was at morning muster that one of the 17 year olds was missing. I called for anyone with information on him. Three other "boots" stepped forward. It seems that the four of them had gone to the YMCA, for a dance, the night before. When they came out, two civilians, described as "hippies", started beating him with coke bottles. I asked what they did about it and they all said, "We got the hell out of there." At that point I told the entire group, "If you are involved, at any time, with something like that, this is what you are to do." I then gave each of them a fist to the face, then asked if they learned the lesson of protecting a shipmate. The point was well taken by all present.
Living in the barracks, in Philadelphia, and working in the shipyard, in Camden, required daily trips back and forth. Fortunately, I had a truck to make the trips and haul some of the crew members. One afternoon, one of the seamen came to me and told me that he had been told by Lt. Bates that I was driving across the bridge too fast. This ticked me off, so I went into the next office to confront the Lt. "Right" in front of CDR Holt.  I stated, "Mister Bates, you have shown disrespect for your uniform and for my uniform by complaining about my driving to one of my juniors. As you can see, I have an eagle and some stripes on my sleeve. If you feel that I have violated any laws, or regulations, you take it up with me, or charge me with the violation. Do I make myself clear?" He turned to CDR Holt, and started to speak, but the CDR beat him to the punch and said, "He's right Bob. Drop it right there, for your benefit."
After the ship had the crew aboard and the ships store was in operation, financial reports needed to be rendered quarterly. Unfortunately, the S-3 group had tried for over two weeks to balance their report and could not get a balance. CDR Holt asked me if I would accept transfer to S-3 to help them get a balanced report on schedule. I accepted, on the condition that I do the inventory and work the report alone and that all of the ones responsible stay aboard until they got a balanced report. The CDR agreed. It took the majority of one day to hold the inventory and the rest of the day to extend and balance it, then type it for the CDR's signature. It went into the next morning's mail, which was the last day allowed. For the next two weeks, the S-3 office personnel and those responsible for holding inventory stayed aboard evenings and weekends. Finally, CDR Holt told them that the report had been mailed on time and asked me to hold instructions on how to hold inventory. Lt Bates, Chief Tedesco and all the rest were there. I began by putting up the fingers on one hand, one at a time, saying, "One - two - three. See, one - two - three. From there we go on to four - five - six. Am I going too fast for any of you?" At this point, the chief broke in saying. "We know how to count. What was wrong with the report, that it would not balance?" My response was, "If you all know how to count, why was almost 80 per cent of the mistakes in quantities of 3 or less, and all of them were in quantities of 6 or less?"  My question was met with complete silence.

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