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The Data Systems Technician rating symbol consisted of a Helium atom with input/output arrows.
The Data Systems (DS) rating was born when computers were introduced on board Navy vessels for tactical applications. As data systems have grown and become more sophisticated, so did the training and the specialized skills of DSs throughout the fleet. The Data Systems Technician (DS) rating was established in 1961. Training however, began in the late 1950s with the initial cadre of DSs coming from the Electronics Technician (ET) rating. Naval Military Personnel Command (NMPC) solicited volunteers from the ET rating and selected personnel were divided into four groups-systems, computers, display, and communications. In the mid-1960's, along with fleet convertees, entry training into the rating started upon completion of boot camp. Trainees started with BE/E and then continued with A school at Mare Island. At Mare Island, the training used the Univac Digital Trainer (UDT) in the A1 Phase and the three general-purpose computers in the A2 phase: CP789/UYK, CP642B/USQ-20, and the CP642A/USQ-20. Upon completion of A school, personnel attended C school. C school training was in one of the following major areas: Operation Control Center (OPCON), Integrated Operation Intelligence Center (IOIC), display, conversion, computer/peripheral (without the general-purpose computer), or transmission (communications). As data systems became more sophisticated, the AN/UYK-20(V) became the training vehicle in A school. In C schools taught an equipment group, students learned about one portion of a data system-display, data link, or computer/peripheral. In C schools, such as ASWOC/HLT and FHLT, students learned about all the major equipment groups (display, data link, and computer/peripheral) together as a total system.