If you’re interested in joining the Army, you might be wondering what the different ranks are and what they entail. Here’s a quick overview of the Army’s ranks, from lowest to highest:
Private (E-1): The entry-level rank for soldiers.
Private First Class (E-2): A slightly higher rank for soldiers who have demonstrated leadership potential.
Specialist (E-4): A non-commissioned officer rank, above private but
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In the United States Army, promotions are given to enlisted soldiers and officers according to their demonstrated proficiency and leadership ability. Enlisted soldiers are promoted as they prove themselves capable of handling increased levels of responsibility, while officers are typically promoted based on seniority and performance evaluations.
There are a total of thirteen ranks in the Army, ranging from the entry-level rank ofPrivate to the elite rank of General. Each rank is divided into two categories: enlisted and officer. Enlisted soldiers make up the majority of the Army and handle most of the day-to-day operations, while officers provide strategic leadership and direction.
The thirteen Army ranks are:
Private is the lowest ranking ensign in the Army. Privates serve under a variety of NCOs and commissioned officers.
Private First Class (E-2)
PFCs have completed basic training and are considered entry-level soldiers. They typically serve under sergeants and commissioned officers.
Specialists are experienced soldiers who have completed advanced training in their area of specialization. They often serve as team leaders or instructors for new recruits. Sergeants generally supervise specialists.
Corporals are also experienced soldiers who have completed advanced training in their area of specialization. They often serve as team leaders or instructors for new recruits. Sergeants generally supervise corporals. Corporals may also be referred to as “junior noncommissioned officers” or JNCOs .
Sergeants are responsible for leading a squad of soldiers (usually 8 to 10). They report directly to commissioned officers such as lieutenants or captains. Sergeants may also be referred to as “senior noncommissioned officers” or SNCOs .
Staff Sergeant (E-6)
SSGs typically lead a squad of soldiers (8 to 10), but they can also serve in a variety of other leadership positions such as drill sergeant or platoon sergeant . They report directly to commissioned officers such as lieutenants or captains .
Sergeant First Class (E-7)
SFCs typically lead a squad of soldiers (8 to 10), but they can also serve in a variety of other leadership positions such as drill sergeant or platoon sergeant . They report directly to commissioned officers such as lieutenants or captains .
Master Sergeant / First Sergeant (E-8)
MSGs/ 1SGs typically lead a squad of soldiers (8 to 10), but they can also serve in a variety of other leadership positions such as drill sergeant or platoon sergeant . They report directly to commissioned officers such as lieutenants or captains .
Sergeant Major / Command Sergeant Major (E-9)
SMs/ CSMs typically lead squads of soldiers , but they can also serve in a variety of other leadership positions such as drill sergeant major or battalion command sergeant major . They report directly to generals , colonels , lieutenant colonels , and majors .
The Army Ranks
An army rank is more than just who salutes whom. In fact, it represents years of training and experience. It is a privilege to serve one’s country, and the Army works hard to ensure that its soldiers are the best-trained, most-disciplined fighting force in the world.
The Army officer ranks are:
-Second Lieutenant (2LT)
-First Lieutenant (1LT)
-Lieutenant Colonel (LTC)
-Brigadier General (BG)
-Major General (MG)
-Lieutenant General (LTG)
-General of the Army/General of the Army Air Force/Fleet Admiral (GA/GAAF/FA)
The enlisted ranks in the Army are:
-Private First Class (E2)
-Specialist or Corporal (E3)
-Staff Sergeant (E5)
-Sergeant First Class (E6)
-Master Sergeant or First Sergeant (E7)
-Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major (E8)
-Sergeant Major of the Army (E9)
Warrant Officer Ranks
In the U.S. Army, warrants officers (WOs) are highly specialized experts and instructors. Enlisted soldiers are promoted to warrant officer rank after demonstrating a high degree of leadership ability and completing warrant officer training.
There are four warrant officer ranks:
-Warrant Officer 1 (WO1),
-Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2),
-Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3), and
-Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4).
The most junior WO1 outranks all enlisted soldiers, as well as all other junior officers including 2nd and 1st lieutenants, captains, and majors. A CW4 outranks all company grade officers, field grade officers, and general officers in the Army.
The Army Ranks Explained
There are a total of 13 Army ranks. The ranks are broken down into three categories: Enlisted, Warrant Officer, and Officer. Each category has its own set of ranks. The Army rank structure is very important because it establishes the chain of command.
In the United States Army, “officer” refers to any member of the military who has a commission — that is, an official document giving permission to hold the office in question. Officer ranks in the United States military consist of commissioned officers and warrant officers.
Commissioned officers are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They are further subdivided into general officers, field-grade officers, and company-grade officers.
Warrant Officer ranks are given by Congressional appointment and they are further subcategorized into senior warrant officer (W-3 to W-5) and chief warrant officer (CWO2 to CWO5).
The rank of sergeant (or Sarge) is typically held by a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO). A sergeant is responsible for a squad of soldiers, and their primary duties include leading, training, and mentoring soldiers. There are three ranks of sergeant: staff sergeant, sergeant first class, and master sergeant.
A corporal is a junior NCO who typically leads a team of two to four soldiers. Corporals are also responsible for training and mentoring new soldiers. There are three ranks of corporal: corporal, specialist, and private first class.
A private is the lowest ranking soldier in the army. Privates have very few responsibilities and are often still in training. There are three ranks of private: private, private first class, and specialist.
Warrant Officer Ranks
In the U.S. Army, a warrant officer is an officer with a specialized skill who is appointed by the secretary of the Army to serve in particular positions. A warrant officer is not a volunteer and cannot be promoted through the ranks like an enlisted soldier or an officer. Instead, a warrant officer receives a commission from the president of the United States.
The Army has three categories of warrant officers: technical, flight, and command. Technical warrant officers are experts in their particular field, such as engineering or electronics. Flight warrant officers are expert aviators who fly Army helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Command warrant officers serve as staff officers at the battalion level and above.
The highest ranking warrant officer is the chief warrant officer 5 (CW5), followed by the chief warrant officer 4 (CW4), chief warrant officer 3 (CW3), chief warrant officer 2 (CW2), and finally, the most junior rank, chief warrant officer 1 (CW1).
The Army is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military. It is responsible for land-based operations. The different ranks in the Army are as follows:
-Private First Class
-Sergeant First Class
-Command Sergeant Major
-Sergeant Major of the Army