Just as with any Naval rating, Sailors who are seeking a career in the Yeoman (YN) rating attend a Class “A” Technical School to learn the basics of their new profession. Currently, this school is held at the NTTC (Naval Technical Training Center) in Meridian, Mississippi.
There is also a Class “C” School for Yeomen who have reached the paygrade of E6 and wish to become Flag Officer Writers. When you look at its history, however, it becomes clear the Navy was at best ambivalent about dedicating a school or course entirely to teach Yeomen how to serve as executive assistants to flag officers.
Just nailing down when the first Flag Writer School opened is well-nigh impossible for the casual researcher: The consensus is that the first one opened in San Diego in 1960 and operated for a few years before being shut down some time in the middle of that decade. Graduates of this programed earned NEC 2514 and were assigned to work under Admirals and General Officers as Administrative Assistants. But though the school was closed, the need for the training it gave Yeomen—and the need of senior military officers to have some type of administrative help so they could focus on more important issues—remained unchanged. Consequently, a training course was established and held at the U.S. Navy Training Center Bainbridge in Maryland.
This school was shuttered in May, 1971 and relocated to the Service Schools Command in Orlando—but only two years passed before this institution, too, was shut down. In a memorandum to the Director of Service Schools Command dated March 14,1972, the Chief Instructor at the Yeomen Class “C” School suggested that not only should the school be disestablished, but also that the NEC for Flag Writer be dissolved. His reasoning was that a survey of active flag writers indicated that the vast majority of them were not using the shorthand they were being taught at the school.
Essentially ignoring the survey regarding the use of shorthand, the Navy sent its personnel to take a stenography course alongside Army personnel at Fort Benjamin Harrison. This setup lasted for only a few years, with the Army ending the course as a money-saving step.
In 1981, the Navy re-established the Flag Writer School at the current location of the YN “A” School in Meridian. Over the next 15 years, 45 classes completed the course and were assigned to fleet duty as Flag Writers.
The final steps in the evolution of the Yeoman “C” School came with Senior Chief Yeoman Edna Callaham, working with a civilian contractor, designed a Pilot course that lasted five weeks, had no shorthand requirements, and included training in Microsoft Office suite software. In 2002, the course she helped create was introduced at NTTC in Meridian, and has been the basis of training for Flag Writers ever since.