Rating title notwithstanding, Sailors serving as Torpedoman’s Mates (TM) worked on considerably more equipment than torpedoes and torpedo-delivery systems.

For example, before the Torpedoman’s Mate rating was merged with Gunner’s Mate in 2007, TM Sailors were tasked with the maintenance of the ship’s small arms. This included the cleaning and inspection of pistols, rifles, shotguns, and magazines, as well as line-throwing adapter kits for rifles and security-force equipment.

TMs were also responsible for the handling of weapons and weapon components. They inspected shipping containers holding weapons, carried out the on-loading and off-loading of weapons and ammo, coordinated handling evolutions for weapons and components, packaged weapons, checked humidity conditions and replaced dessicant bags as needed, stowed weapons in magazines, and of course manage all the equipment used to perform these functions.

Much of that equipment is powered pneumatically or hydraulically, and Torpedoman’s Mates performed a great of maintenance and repair on these systems. They inspected, tested, and if, necessary, rebuilt hydraulic and pneumatic valves; charged, filled, and bled the fluid used in both types of systems; and would remove and repair any components that showed signs of fault or excess wear and tear.

Of course, the merging of the two rates didn’t mean that TM Sailors wearing their new rating badge had those duties lifted from their shoulders; instead, they are spread out among the three jobs that now make up the Gunner’s Mate rating: Weapons Delivery System Technician, Small Arms Technician, and Weapons Administrator.

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