The winged globe used as the specialty mark of the Coast Guard’s now-disestablished Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AE) rating was first seen in 1942, when it was employed for the insignia of the Navy’s rating of the same name. The Navy changed the rating’s abbreviation from AEM to AE 1948, but the emblem remained unchanged. Just when it was first appeared on Coast Guard uniforms, on the other hand, is not exactly clear—at least at first glance.

According to a document titled U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Rates & Ratings created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 1993 and published by the Coast Guard’s Historian and Curators, the Coast Guard established the AE rating in 1948, which lines up with the date the Navy established its AE rating. (On a side note, 1948 was an extremely busy year for rating changes by the Navy.)

But Preston B. Perrenot, a highly respected archivist of military insignias, lists 1955 to 2003 as the dates the rating was used in the Coast Guard (page 55, United States Coast Guard Grade Insignia Since 1834). And a monograph titled U. S. Coast Guard Enlisted Ratings, Rating Specialty Marks & Distinguishing Marks: 1915 – 2011 by former USCG Chief Warrant Officer Dana Lewis sets 1956 as the year the rating was introduced, and 1999 as the year in which it was merged into the rates of Avionics Technician (which later became AET, Avionics Electrical Technician) and Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT).

Decidedly confusing. Fortunately,  all would agree that the ultimately authoritative source for Coast Guard ratings would be the service itself—and a little digging reveals that the AE rating was already established in 1949, and definitely disestablished in 1999.

According to the Coast Guard’s Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC) Web site, the service’s enlisted aviation personnel were trained at Navy Schools until the ATTC was commissioned in 1978. In 1949, the Navy’s Class “A” School for Aviation Machinist's Mates (AD) was relocated from San Diego, CA to the Aircraft Repair and Supply Center (ARSC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina—the eventual home of ATTC. That same year, the “A” Schools for the AE rating, as well as the Aviation Structural Mechanic (AM) and Aviation Electronicsman (AL) ratings, were also moved from San Diego, but to the Naval Training Center in Memphis. The inclusion of these ratings in the ATTC history makes it clear they were Coast Guard ratings at the time the schools were moved.

The date that the AE rating was officially disestablished is found in COMDTINST 5221.1, Aviation Workforce Restructuring, dated 18 September 1998. Detailing the implementation of the recommendations made by the Coast Guard’s Aviation Enlisted Workforce Structure Study Team, the instruction disestablished the AE rating effective 1 January 1999, with Coast Guard personnel in that rating joining either one of two newly created ratings, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) or Avionics Technician (AVT).

In 2003, the AVT rating was redesignated as AET, Avionics Electronics Technician, which might explain Perrenot’s use of this date as the end of the Aviation Electrician’s Mate rating.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


100% secure payment

Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.