Craftmaster Badge

Craftmaster insignia

The Craftmaster insignia is a decoration of the United States Navy which is awarded to those personnel who have qualified as underway boat captains of U.S. Navy small vessels and support craft. Such boat commands which would qualify a service member for the Craftmaster badge include tugboats, dredges, and scows.

The Craftmaster Badge is mainly awarded to Navy senior enlisted personnel in the Chief Petty Officer ranks. It is also a common award to those who are qualified as harbor pilots. The Craftmaster Badge is not presented to those have qualified to serve on board navy coastal warfare boats, as such personnel receive the Small Craft Pin and the Combatant Craft Crewman Badge.

The Craftmaster Badge is also awarded to a select few midshipmen at both the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the United States Naval Academy. Midshipmen at the Merchant Marine Academy qualify on the Academy's training ship, T/V Kings Pointer. The midshipmen who traditionally qualify are the midshipman officers on board the training vessel. The midshipmen at the Naval Academy qualify on the flotilla of YP craft. Most of the midshipmen who qualify are members of the YP Squadron, an extracurricular activity at the Academy focused on acclimatizing midshipmen to life on board a Naval vessel, and/or have selected Surface Warfare as their warfare community upon graduation and commissioning. Earning the title "Craftmaster" requires thousands of hours spent living, working, and training on board the YP. Midshipmen dedicated to earning the badge are paired with an advising officer (usually a lieutenant) as they take navigation and seamanship tests, prepare nautical charts and underway briefings, and perform complex and highly-technical maneuvers in adverse conditions. For the final examination, or "qualification ride", the head of the Department of Seamanship and Navigation (a commander), personally reviews the command presence, naval skill, and seamanship knowledge of the aspiring midshipman as demonstrated through a pre-determined course on the Severn River. Despite the rigorous and time-consuming workload involved with earning the badge, it is not uncommon for a midshipman to fail the qualification ride. Those midshipmen who are successful enjoy being personally pinned by the Superintendent of the Naval Academy at the annual YP Squadron Change of Command Ceremony held in Memorial Hall.

See also: Military badges of the United States

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