CIRCA 1960

Ray White consulted BRCN 113(1) and found the following official list of RCN Trades and Abbreviations circa 1960.

Table 1 to Article 1.04; Permanent Regular Force Peacetime Trades
Sorted Alphabetically by Trade

Administrative Writer         AW
Air Electrical Technician     EA
Air Electronic Technician     RA
Air Fitter                    AF
Air Rigger                    AR
Apprentice, Technical         AP
Aviation Technician           AT

Bandsman                      BD
Bandsman Apprentice           BA
Biosciences Technician        BT
Boatswain                     BN

Clearance Diver               CD
Commissaryman                 CM
Cook                          CK

Electrical Technician         ET
Electronic Technician         LT
Engineering Mechanic          EM
Engineering Technician        ER
Electrician's Mate            LM

Firecontrolman                FC

Hull Mechanic                 HM
Hull Technician               HT
Hygiene Technician            HG

Laboratory Technician         LB

Medical Assistant             MA
Meteorologist's Mate          MM
Meteorological Technician     MO

Naval Aircrewman              NA
Naval Airman                  AM
Naval Storesman               NS

Operating Room Assistant      OR

Pay Writer                    PW
Photographer                  PH
Physical and Recreational
      Training Instructor     PT
Pharmacist                    PM

Radar Plotter                 RP
Radioman                      RM
Radioman Special              RS

Ship's Storesman              ST
Ship's Writer                 WR
Signalman                     SG
Sonarman                      SN
Steward                       SW

Victualling Storesman         VS

Weaponman Air                 WA
Weaponman Surface             WS
Weaponman Underwater          WU

X-ray Technician              XT

rcn_badges_1960_s.jpg Badges and Insignia of the RCN  from the April 1964 edition of Crowsnest Magazine.
Click to enlarge. (Provided by Ray White)
Ray also found an article in the September 1959 edition of Crowsnest Magazine which summarizes the evolution of the new trade designators which led to new branch badges. The article does not implicitly state when the new badges came into effect but his own CNS459 Certificate of Service changed from P2CS3 to P2RS3 on 1 January 1960, thus confirming that the new trade designations came into effect on that date. Key elements of the Crowsnest article are summarized below:

"One of the major changes  involves the introduction of a new trade structure for men as outlined in a general message to the Fleet from Vice-Admiral H. G. DeWolf, Chief of the Naval Staff, in July 1959. The text of this message is as follows:

The initial steps for introducing a new trade structure for men, as recommended by the report of the ad hoc committee on RCN personnel structure have been approved by the Naval Board for consideration by the Flag Officer Atlantic Coast and the Flag Officer Pacific Coast.  The detailed content of the new trade structure is now under consideration for final tri-service approval. The new trade structure, which combines the maintenance and operation functions in one man where appropriate, will be introduced in two phases, phase one consisting of the following new trades, formed from different branches as indicated, will be introduced about January 1960:

(a) Boatswain (BM), from quartermaster, sailmaker, regulator, master- at-arms and gunnery;
(b) Weaponman Surface (WS), from gunnery and ordnance;
(c) Firecontrolman (FC), from gunnery, ordnance and electrical;
(d) Weaponman Underwater (WU), from TAS and ordnance;
(e) Sonarman (SN), from TAS and electrical;
(f) Radar Plotter (RP), from radar plot and electrical;
(g) Signalman (SG), from communicator visual;
(h) Radioman (RM), from communicator radio and electrical;
(i) Radioman Special (RS), from communicator supplementary and electrical;
(j) Electronic Technician (LT), from radio technician;
(k) Electrician's Mate (LM), and Electrical Technician (ET), from electrical;
(l) Engineering Mechanic (EM), and Engineering Technician (ER), from engineering;
(m) Hull Technician (HT), from shipwright, plumber, painter and blacksmith;
(n) Administrative Writer (AW), Pay Writer (PW) and Ship's Writer (WR, from writer branch;
(o) Naval Storesman (NS), Victualling Storesman (VS) and Ship's Storesman (ST), from stores branch;
(p) Cook (CK), Steward (SW), and Commissaryman (CM), from cook and steward;
(q) Apprentices (AP), remain as apprentices;
(r) Bandsmen (BD) and Bandsmen Apprentices (BA) remain as bandsmen and bandsmen apprentices;
(s) Photographers (PH) remain as photographers.

Phase two, consisting of air, medical, meteorology, P & RT and clearance diver trades will be introduced at a later date".

Other notes from Ray White on the 1960 period

I have verified the spelling of the trade names and what you see here are the official terms. For instance the term Weaponman was used and not Weaponsman.  ER became Engineering Technician vice Engineering Artificer, the old term) etc etc.

These Trade abbreviations were in effect from 01 Jan 1960 until the Unification of the Canadian Forces, which  was February 1, 1968.  At this time, the new ranks came into being and Military Occupation Codes came into effect. From being a P1RS4, I became a WO ComRsch 291.

This BRCN was broken into a number of volumes which defined the requirements for advancement and promotion in all the various trades.  BRCN 113 is/was known by the full title "Royal Canadian Navy Manual of Advancement and Promotion", short title MAP.

MID 1950s ERA
Notes from Ray White on the mid-1950's era

The above two pages unfortunately do not have dates on them, but I would say they are from the period immediately prior to introduction of the Radioman and Radioman(S) Badges and Signalman badge.  I note that the Communicator Crypto badge is still shown but this was not in use by RCN types, but may have been used by WRCNS or RCN(R) operators.


Trade badges from Naval General Order GO 75/13 dated October 1950. (Submitted by Ray White) 
Notes from Ray White on the 1950 period:
The Communicator badge, I believe, encompassed both Visual and Radio communicators and had no letter in the circle.  They used the trade abbreviation CM.  But when I joined in 1951 they had already divided it into CR and CV and the badge was changed to incorporate a letter R and V respectively.  The Communicator Crypto was not in use in 1951. The Communicator Supplementary badge, incorporating the letter S remained as such until later in the 50s when they added the Bellini-Tosi loop to the wings. Most of the others were retained until the new badges in mid to late 50s. Of note are the Cook(O) and Cook(S) for officers' and seamen's cooks.  This  separation changed in 1951, I believe to just Cook, designator CK.

Select this link to see a list of commonly used abbreviations in RCN personnel records.

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Dec 19/18