Learn About Being a Navy Seaman (SN)

Get Info on Enlisted Rating Job Descriptions and Qualification Factors

This enlistment program option enables men and women to eventually qualify for one of several Navy ratings (skill specialties) through on-the-job Seaman Apprenticeship training. The program also offers apprenticeship training in a rating that may not be available at the time of enlistment.

After completion of recruit training, enlistees in the Seaman Apprenticeship Training Program attend a three-week course on basic theory in shipboard operations and evolution's.

After successful completion of this training, Seamen are usually assigned to shipboard duties where the Navy needs them the most.

Seamen can request and may receive on-the-job training in a rating that they are interested in, qualified for and is available at their first command by completing correspondence courses and personal advancement requirements.

They must also be recommended by their commanding officer for the Navy rating they desire. Seamen may also attend Navy schools to learn about general damage control, shipboard fire fighting, preventive maintenance of special equipment, and the use of special tools used in the rating they are working in or seeking.

What They Do

The duties performed by Seamen include: serving as helmsmen and lookouts; repairing, maintaining and stowing equipment in preparation for underway operations; working in non-engineering divisions of the ship or station; standing security watches while in port and under way; operating sound-powered telephone systems; doing temporary duty for 90-120 days with food services divisions or compartment cleaning; serving as a member of damage control, emergency and security alert teams; participating in naval ceremonies; taking part in underway replenishment (transferring supplies from ship to ship at sea), working with qualified personnel to gain job training and experience.


None Established

Other Requirements

Must have normal color perception. Must have normal hearing. Must have no speech impediment. Security Clearance, (SECRET) Requirement. Must be submarine qualified. Must be U.S. citizen.

Notes: Closed to women. Must meet physical requirements IAW MANMED and pass BUDS physical screening test.

See MILPERSMAN 1210-220. No history of drug abuse.

Technical Training Information

Seamen are taught fundamental skills needed in a shipboard environment. Most training takes place at the first duty station in the form of on-the-job training in the rating for which they are "striking." By "striking" for a specific Navy rating a qualified person may be assigned to a Navy class "A" technical school for further training in that rating.

Working Environment

Signalmen usually work outdoors or in a clean, air-conditioned electronic equipment space, and frequently perform their work as part of a team, but may work on individual projects. Their work is mostly mental analysis and physical dexterity. USN SMs are stationed primarily aboard USN deploying ships, TAR SMs are stationed aboard Naval Reserve Force (NRF) ships that deploy or conduct local operations.