United States Naval slang terminology which describes those sailors in the fleet who work on the ship and who maintain the ship and it's spaces that relate primarily to the Traditional Navy such as the Anchor Room (Foc'sle), gangways, ceremonial spaces, main decks, flight decks and top decks for small boys (little ships) and big boys (Large Ships). The duty of the Naval Deck Ape is often demanding, difficult and sometimes grueling compared to most work standards. Deck Apes are a very proud sort of Naval Personnel that work hard, play hard and love the traditional naval standards to which they uphold.
Navy Botswain's Mates in Deck Administration-!st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Divisions (Work on all ships and ceremonial points of the Navy)

Navy Aviation Botswain's Mates in Air Department- V1, V2, V3, V4 and VX Divisions on Board Naval Flat Top Vessels only (Mainly work at Airstations and onboard Aircraft Carriers, etc.)

"The Deck Apes scurried on the flight deck during Flight Operations."
A deck ape is the term used in the Navy for an undesignated seaman, NOT a Boatswain's Mate.

Boatswain's Mate is an actual RATE what other branches call an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). Undesignated seamen are the non rated losers E-3 and below that work for the Boatswain's Mates.

I do feel the need that Boatswain's Mates do start off as Deck apes who train on the job, since their is no "A" School for their rate. Why would those imbeciles need a school? You don't need a class for paint chipping. So a Boatswain's Mate is a former deck ape on a power trip.
I had to work with that fucking Deck ape for three months when I was mess cranking, what a worthless piece of shit!
by Righter of Wrongs May 24, 2009
Naval term used to signify a "botswain's mate" on a ship who is in charge of anchors, moorings, lines, rope etc.
Chief! Order deck apes to pull anchor!
by Atomic Johnny March 30, 2005