The insignia for Sailors serving as Engineering Aides (EA) reflects the history of the rating. In 1948, the rating of Surveyor was established from the Carpenter’s Mate (CB) Surveyor rating, and eleven years later the Surveyor rating was changed to the current designation of Engineering Aide. While the scope of duties for Engineering Aides now encompasses all aspects of construction planning, their heritage as the Navy’s surveyors is honored with the image of a Philadelphia Rod, a tool used to determine elevations and levels that’s essential to all types of construction.
Drawn from Sailors in the junior rating of Constructionman, potential Engineering Aides attend a Class “A” Technical School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for 15 weeks of training, both in construction theories and skills and in combat. Like other Seabee ratings, Sailors who complete the Class “A” school will most likely be assigned to either a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) or Amphibious Construction Battalion. The NMCBs operate on a rotational basis between their homeports in California and Mississippi and overseas locations (Spain, Okinawa, Guam, etc.), with sea tours lasting three years and shore tours lasting four.
In December 2015, the Bureau of Naval Personnel announced that Sailors in the EA rating who reach the Senior Chief (paygrade E8) rate will merge with Sailors from the Builder (BU) and Steelworker (SW) ratings into the Constructionman Senior Chief (CUCS) rating.