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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 18, 2021

Why you should consider becoming a Rating Knowledge Manager

By Nicole Bertrand, MyCG Staff

Think back to when you first considered joining the Coast Guard. What motivated you to join? Growing in leadership skills? Pushing yourself to the limits of what you knew you could do and be? Saving lives?

Now that you’re serving, have you considered your next steps? What Coast Guard positions come to mind?

Well, if you haven’t heard about the Chief Rating Knowledge Manager (CRKM) or Rating Knowledge Manager (RKM) positions, you’re not alone, but they could be the opportunity to impact your rating at the highest levels. 

The RKM position is arguably the most influential and impactful rated job position next to the Rating Force Master Chief (RFMC). RKMs work with subject matter experts and accomplished formers to determine what information has to be learned and mastered in any given rate. They are the “keepers” of the library of professional rating knowledge and subject-matter experts that create the fundamental building blocks for any given specialty, liken it to the “DNA of rating.” Through occupational analysis, the creation of Rating Performance Qualifications, and finally the creation of course materials they help decide what should be included in the body of knowledge. 

“To be honest, I had never heard of the CRKM position and the only thing I knew about RKMs was they wrote Service Wide Exams (SWE),” said Master Chief Petty Officer Anthony Matulonis the CRKM for marine science technician rating. “This was a payback tour for me after attending graduate school at Florida State University as part of the USCG Performance Technology advanced education program.”

The RKM works hand-in-hand with the RFMC, programs, training centers, and the Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM) to ensure each rating has everything it needs for successful performance in daily work today and in the future.

For example, the health service technicians rating is implementing a new electronic health records system and the RKM is working to ensure they’ll have what they need, such as computers for remote units.

“This has been a great job,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Del Hayes, the damage controlman rating RKM. “I doubt any other position [can] boast an impact on the advancement of every enlisted member of the Coast Guard.”

Despite being so far-reaching in its impact on the Coast Guard, the RKM position is relatively unknown. We are actively recruiting now. There are 22 RKMs—one for each rating. 

There are no pre-requisites, but it is helpful to have a training background and a passion for the development of the enlisted workforce. Most of the RKMs are stationed at the training center location of the rating’s “A” school. 

“Having an [executive petty officer] and three consecutive [officer-in-charge] tours, I wanted a change of pace, but I still wanted to remain relevant in the [boatswains mate] world,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Matthew Bromwell, the current boatswains mate  RKM. “Being an RKM allows me to continue having the ability to stay in rating and also have an incredible impact on the rating, to change things for the better and effect change.”

Master Chief Petty Officer Neena Cicinelli, the former maritime enforcement rating RKM, said, “it was the best, most complex job I’ve ever had in the Coast Guard.”   

Matulonis enjoys his position greatly as CRKM. To become a CRKM, Matulonis advanced through the ranks as an instructor and then a program manager. His job is to oversee the Rating Review Process for all ratings and Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME). 

The rating review process includes ensuring the tasks currently being performed by members in the field are supported via training or another type of performance aid. It also involves building and validating a list of tasks that are currently performed by the field that serves as the foundation for Rating Performance Qualifications (RPQs), “A” and “C” schools, pipeline training, job aids, competencies, qualifications, etc. 

The piece of the process you are likely most familiar with is the Occupational Analysis (OA) you participate in every three to four years. 

“If you are passionate about your rating or EPME and want to be a part of positive change, the RKM is a position you should be striving to fill,” said Matulonis.

For more information, you can check out the portal page of each RKM.