Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about the rank of sergeant. For alternate meanings see Sergeant (disambiguation).
There are usually several ranks of sergeant, each corresponding to greater experience and responsibility for the daily lives of the soldiers of larger units. Although even the highest sergeant is officially lower in rank than the lowest lieutenant, an experienced sergeant will have considerable personal power and know how to exercise it.
United States military
In the United States Army, although there are several ranks of sergeant, the lowest carries the title of Sergeant, referred to as buck sergeant when needed to distinguish it from the higher ranks. Sergeant is the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Army, just above Corporal and below Staff Sergeant, and is the second-lowest grade of non-commissioned officer.
Similarly, the United States Marine Corps has several ranks which carry the title of sergeant, the lowest of which is Sergeant. U.S.M.C. Sergeants are the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Marine Corps, just above Corporal and below Staff Sergeant.
The Sergeants (Sgt) of the British Army wear three point-down chevrons on their sleeves and usually serve as platoon or troop sergeants, or in specialist positions. Staff Sergeant is the next most senior rank, above which come Warrant Officers. The Household Cavalry use the rank of Corporal of Horse instead, the only regiments to preserve the old cavalry tradition of having corporals but not sergeants.
The official spelling was Serjeant (Sjt) until after the Second World War, although the modern spelling had already been in common use for many years.
The Royal Air Force also has sergeants, wearing the same three chevrons. The next highest rank is Flight Sergeant (or Chief Technician for technicians and musicians). Between 1950 and 1964 sergeants in technical trades were known as Senior Technicians and wore their chevrons point up. On 1 July 1946, aircrew sergeants were redesignated as Aircrew IV, III or II, replacing the chevrons with one, two or three six-pointed stars within a wreath and surmounted by an eagle. This was unpopular and in 1950 they returned to the old rank, but have worn an eagle above their chevrons ever since. Sergeants of the Royal Flying Corps wore a four-bladed propeller above their chevrons.
Republic of Singapore
In the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), there are five different grades of sergeant: 3rd Sergeant (3SG), 2nd Sergeant (2SG), 1st Sergeant (1SG), Staff Sergeant (SSG), and Master Sergeant (MSG). Sergeants are the only non-commissioned officers in the SAF; non-commissioned officers are also known as Specialists. Soldiers serving national service are promoted to 3SG after passing out of the School of Specialists (SISPEC). They can then go on to become 2SGs or 1SGs. The senior NCO ranks, SSG and MSG, are usually only attained by regular soldiers and not conscripts.
3SGs are usually section commanders/second-in-commands (equivalent to a British Lance-Corporal/Corporal). 2SGs usually serve as platoon sergeants (equivalent to a British Sergeant). 1SGs, SSGs, and MSGs usually serve as Company Sergeant Majors or administrative NCOs at company level or higher (equivalent to British Staff Sergeants and Warrant Officers).
- Military unit
- Military rank
- Comparative military ranks
- U.S. Army enlisted rank insignia
- U.S. Marine Corps enlisted rank insignia
- Regimental Sergeant Major
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