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United States Army enlisted rank insignia: Wikis


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The chart below represents the current enlisted rank insignia of the United States Army.

US DoD Pay grade E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
Insignia No Insignia US Army E-2.svg US Army E-3.svg US Army E-4 SPC.svg US Army E-4.svg US Army E-5.svg US Army E-6.svg US Army E-7.svg US Army E-8 MSG.svg US Army E-8 1SG.svg US Army E-9 SGM.svg US Army E-9 CSM.svg US Army E-9 SMA.svg
Title Private Private Private First Class Specialist Corporal Sergeant Staff Sergeant Sergeant First Class Master Sergeant First Sergeant Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Army
NATO Code OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-8 OR-9 OR-9 OR-9
¹ PVT is also used as an abbreviation for both Private ranks when pay grade need not be distinguished
² SP4 is sometimes encountered as an abbreviation for Specialist. This is a holdover from when there were additional specialist ranks at higher pay grades.

This chart represents the U.S. Army enlisted rank insignia with seniority increasing left-to-right inside a given pay grade. All ranks of Corporal and higher are considered non-commissioned officers (NCOs).

The rank of Specialist is a soldier of pay grade E-4 who has not yet attained non-commissioned officer status. It is common that a soldier may never be a Corporal and will move directly from Specialist to Sergeant, attaining NCO status at that time.



In each command of company-sized units, there is assigned a senior enlisted who is the monitor and advocate of the enlisted personnel to the commanding officer. This position is known as the "First Sergeant," though the person carrying that title does not have to be the rank of first sergeant (it is the highest ranking enlisted person in the company). In a battalion or larger unit, the senior enlisted Soldier is a command sergeant major. The rank of sergeant major is usually carried by the senior enlisted person of the S-3 staff section in a battalion or a brigade, and in most staff sections in larger units.

In terms of command, the rank of a person typically determines what job and command the Soldier has within a unit. For personnel in US Army mechanized infantry, a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (M2A2) is commanded by a Staff Sergeant, the gun is manned by a Specialist or Sergeant and the driver is Specialist or below. For the Armor, the Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2) is commanded by a Staff Sergeant, the gunner is a Sergeant, the driver is a Specialist and the loader is a Specialist or below.


Formal terms of address specified in Army Regulation 600-20 "Army Command Policy" are "Sergeant Major" for all Sergeant Major ranks, "First Sergeant" for First Sergeants, "Sergeant" for Master Sergeants, Sergeants First Class, Staff Sergeants, and Sergeants. Corporals and Specialists are addressed by their rank. Specialists, Privates First Class, and Privates are usually called by last name only, or by simply "Soldier" although AR 600-20 stipulates that "Specialist" and "Private" are the correct forms of address for these ranks.

In some cases, informal titles are used. "Top" is commonly used by NCOs as an informal address to First Sergeants, or anyone serving as a Company 1st Sergeant. In Field Artillery, a Platoon Sergeant (usually an E-7) is referred to as "Smoke", and squad leaders (usually an E-6) are called "Chief" (some squad leaders discourage this, as "Chief" is also a common term of address for Warrant Officers). In some smaller units, with more tight-knit squads, soldiers might call their squad leader "Boss", or a similar respectful term. A habit that has all but died out is that a Platoon Sergeant, in any unit other than Artillery, is affectionately called "Platoon Daddy", in casual conversation or in jest (but never in any official communication of any type). "Sarge" is also commonly used to refer to or address either a squad leader or a Platoon Sergeant with the rank of Sergeant (E-5), Staff Sergeant (E-6), or Sergeant First Class (E-7), and is considered an affectionate and respectful term. Specialists are sometimes jokingly referred to as "Command Private Major", "Full-Bird Private", or "PV4". In training units (Basic Combat Training and AIT), trainees are called "Warrior", as they have not yet earned the title of "Soldier". Special titles, such as "Drill Sergeant" are specific to certain jobs, and should not be confused for actual rank.

Other services differ, such as the Marines, which address each other by full rank.

See also




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