Regulations for the government of the United States Navy (1865)

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Section 4.

Ratings and Disratings.

269.....On a crew being transferred from a receiving vessel to a vessel of the Navy intended for sea-service, the officer ordered to command her is to select and have rated from such crew the different Petty Officers allowed by the Department for one of her class, except such as are eligible to appointment.

270.....In the event of a vacancy occurring among the appointed Petty Officers, if a suitable person can be found among the crew of the vessel, the Commanding Officer may rate such person, and cause him to perform the duties appertaining to the vacant situation. The rating of such person will not discharge him from his enlistment, however; but in case that it should be revoked, he will return to his former rate on the ship's books.

271.....No enlisted person shall be transferred from any quarter to any vessel, navy yard, station, or hospital, with the rating of a Petty Officer.

272.....No Petty Officer, or person of inferior rating, shall ever be disrated by the Commander of a vessel, unless he shall have received his rating from that Commander; and this shall be done for good and sufficient cause only, which must be stated in the log. But any Commanding Officer transferring his command shall previously reduce all persons who may have been rated by himself to the rates they held at, the time of joining his ship, and his successor shall appoint them immediately to the same rates. In case, however, of the death of any Commanding Officer, his captivity, or any other circumstance which may vacate his command, all ratings established by himself shall also be vacated, subject to re-establishment by his successor, as provided for above, except those of such persons as a Commander is allowed to take with him from one ship to another, who shall not be reinstated, unless such successor shall fail to bring with him other persons to fill their situations. If not reinstated, the Cockswain shall resume the rate he held on joining the vessel, and the steward, cook, and one other person of inferior rating, shall be regarded as having fulfilled their enlistment, and be entitled to their discharge if they desire it, unless they enlisted for the ordinary duties of deck-hands, in which case they shall resume their former rates and serve their full time.

273.....No person having enlisted in any particular rate shall be reduced to a lower rate, except by order of the Department, or to carry out the sentence of a court-martial, except as provided below for firemen and coal-heavers.

274.....No person, about to be discharged from a vessel going out of commission, or transferred and sent home to be discharged, shall be disrated by reason of such discharge or transfer, but his rate, whatever it may be, shall be expressed on the face of his discharge or transfer for that purpose.

275.....Whenever a change of rating takes place an order in writing will be given by the Commander of the vessel to the Paymaster, stating the change of rate and the time from which it is to date; but no such order shall be given in one quarter to take effect in a preceding quarter.

276.....Should any fireman or coal-heaver be reported by the senior Engineer of the vessel for neglect of his duty, or inability to perform it, from other causes than sickness, or injury received in line of duty, the Commanding Officer of the squadron, or, in his absence, the Commanding Officer of the vessel to which such firemen or coal-heaver belongs, may, if he deems it necessary, direct another person to perform them during the continuance of such neglect or disability, or until the place is supplied by a person of the proper rating, and the person so appointed shall receive the pay of the situation which he may thus fill. But the Commanding Officer shall, when it is practicable, direct second class firemen to succeed or supply the places of the first class; and the coal-heavers, if qualified, shall take the place of the second class fireman in preference to other persons. The pay of such reduced fireman or coal-heaver is provided for under the head of allowances.

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