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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A master sergeant is the military rank for a senior non-commissioned officer in some armed forces.


United States

E-8 insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Army

E-8 insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Marine Corps

Master Sergeant insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force

First Sergeant insignia
E-7 First Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force

Obsolete Master Sergeant insignia
Master Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force

A Master Sergeant is:

  • the seventh enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force, just above technical sergeant and below senior master sergeant. It is abbreviated as "MSgt." Advancement to master sergeant is one of the most significant promotions within the enlisted Air Force. At the rank of master sergeant, the Airman enters the senior non-commissioned tier and his or her duties begin to focus on leadership and management rather than technical performance. Per Air Force Instruction 36-2618, MSgts typically serve as flight chiefs (analogous to platoon sergeants in the U.S. Army) and section chiefs (leaders of duty sections within a squadron). It is also the lowest rank in the Air Force that one can hold in order to attain the special duty position of first sergeant. These Air Force first sergeants occupy the grades of E-7 through E-9 and are referred to officially as "first sergeant" regardless of their pay grade, and unofficially as "first shirt" or simply "the shirt." In 1991 the Air Force changed its NCO insignia so that a maximum of five stripes, or rockers, were placed on the bottom of the chevrons. The master sergeant rank insignia was changed by removing the bottom (6th) rocker, and relocating it above as a single chevron, on top of the five lower stripes.

In the U.S. Army, the rank of master sergeant is usually held by staff members serving as NCOICs as well as commonly held by the motor pool NCOIC as the advisor to the motor pool chief, who is usually a warrant officer. When holding the position of first sergeant, while uncommon, the master sergeant is referred to as "first sergeant."

In the Marine Corps, master sergeants may be referred to by the nickname of "top." This usage is an informal one, however, and would not be used in an official or formal setting. Use of this nickname by Marines of subordinate rank is at the rank holder's discretion.

As with the first sergeant, a master sergeant is usually given the courtesy of having a room called to "at ease" upon entrance, regardless of duty position.

All master sergeants are senior non-commissioned officers.


Master Sergeant (MSG) is the highest Specialist rank in the Singapore Armed Forces, ranking just above Staff Sergeant (SSG) and below Second Warrant Officer (2WO). Master Sergeants are addressed as "Master Sergeant", or "Master", and not "Sergeant".

Being the most senior Specialists in the SAF, Master Sergeants have an important role in guiding young soldiers. They often hold instructional positions. Some may hold the appointment of Company Sergeant Major (CSM). Where the master sergeant holds the appointment of company sergeant major, the junior enlisted men are expected to address him as "Encik", the Malay word for "Mister". However, it is common for Master Sergeants and Staff Sergeants who do not hold the appointment of Sergeant Major to also be addressed as "Encik".

The rank insignia consists of three chevrons pointing up, three chevrons pointing down, and the Singapore coat of arms in the middle.

See also

External links

Singapore Armed Forces Specialist ranks
Rank Third Sergeant Second Sergeant First Sergeant Staff Sergeant Master Sergeant
Abbreviation 3SG 2SG 1SG SSG MSG
More details at Specialist


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