In 1948, the Damage Controlman rating was established as a result of the consolidation of the Specialist (F) (Fire Fighters), Carpenter's Mate, Carpenter's Mate (SR) (Joiners), Carpenter's Mate (SR) (Builders), and Painter ratings. Additionally, in 1954, the Chemical Warfareman rating was disestablished and its responsibilities included in the DC rating. In 1972, the DC rating was desolved and folded into the Hull Maintenance Technician (HT) rating, and in 1996 (date yet to be verified), the rating was once again broken out to the current Damage Controlman. DC's do the work necessary for damage control, ship stability, firefighting, fire prevention, and chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) warfare defense. They also instruct personnel in the methods of damage control and CBR defense, and repair damage control equipment and systems.
The duties performed by DCs include operating, repairing and maintaining installed firefighting systems and equipment, damage control equipment, and chemical, biological and radiological defense equipment. They train shipboard personnel in the operation, maintenance and repair of damage control systems and equipment, life saving devices, and various firefighting methods. Damage Controlmen perform emergency repairs to decks, structures and hulls by emergency pipe patching, plugging, and shoring. They perform maintenance and repair of watertight closures and assorted fittings, and perform emergency repairs to piping fittings and fixtures. DCs act as the ship's Fire Marshal and fire fighting leaders, and they train the ship's company in chemical, biological and radiological defense.