Engineering Technician(Marine Engineering), previously a Marine Engineering Mechanic. Derived from the time when ships were coal fired and some mug had to stoke the boilers. These marine engineering ratings have in common with other sub-branch technicians replaced mechanics, mechanicians, and artificers. Previously mechanics were sometimes styled semi-skilled, with the technicians being artificers, being trained and entering the navy separately from mechanics.
At HMS Fisgard (an earlier artificer training establishment) engineering artificers were iformed by the WOGI that they were Chief Petty Officer Cadets. This term applied particularly to those of the ME sub-specialization as only those MEAs passing the examination and service for CPOMEA could remain in the RN as CPOs. Failure to successfully pass the marine engineering 'unit ticket' after three atempts would result in an invitation to either recategorize as a mechinic, or leave the service.
Mechanics could achieve technician status by applying for selection as artificer candidate; this category or rating was previously called mechnician, a French word meaning in English an engineer who operated and maintained machinery. This term is still used in the French mercantile marine in the following manner: 'Chef Mechanician'; cf. the English mercantile marine's 'Chief Engineer'.
The selected mechanic would then study mathematics, physics and applied mathematics, then entering the formerly named 'mechanicians course'at HMS Sultan. In 1981 a DCI dated April 1st, stated all mechanicains henceforth would be artificers (Parliamentary Tiffs?)and lost their rather elegant badge featuring a propeller surmounted by a throttle wheel. At the same time the 'mechanicians course' became the 'artificer candidates course'. Ratings that completed this course were in this writer's opinion,(speaking as a direct entry 'tiff') excellent technicians who only lacked the arrogance of the original Fisgard artificers.