An able hand is a step up the ranks for the newest of Grand Armada recruits, and a recognition of an individual's new journey down the path of their selected specialization. Able hands know just enough in their chosen field to keep out of trouble. At least, the sorts of trouble often found by newcomers. Able hands are still Mordena, after all. They find new, more specialized forms of trouble to inflict upon themselves and those around them.
Able hands have proven themselves capable of following the basic standard procedures and protocols for their specification, including all safety processes. They've been formally assigned to the team where they'll learn the skills necessary for their role, often remaining with at least some of the same people as they continue to rise through the ranks over the course of the rest of their career. Upon completion of their specialist training, an able hand becomes eligible for promotion to Mate.