My family has been in the Armed Service of this country for 3 generations. My grandfather was a master sergeant in the Army, my father a Non commissioned officer, also in the army, and now my brother just enlisted and is a private in the United States Army. I couldn’t be more proud of my family and our rich history of service. My grandfather’s rise through the army ranks is a tale that should be told to all Americans. A life of service, dedication, and sacrifice. Today I want to go over some of the insignias my family has proudly worn, and what these patches on their uniform mean. Please read ahead in my article titled Army ranks: what do they mean?
There’re thirteen army ranks that are enlisted: Private, Private First Class, Private Second Class, Corporal, Specialist, Staff Sergeant, Sergeant, Sergeant First Class, Master Sergeant, Sergeant Major, First Sergeant, Sergeant Major of the Army, and Command Sergeant Major. Generally, all these groups of army are broken down into 3 main groups: NCOs, Junior Enlisted, and Senior NCOs.
The United States Army maintains a storied tradition dating all the way back to 1775 when the first standing riflemen were commissioned by the Continental Congress. From this unpromising beginning, the US army has become one of the strongest combating army in the world. The US army is the major of those branches on the US armed forces, and it’s responsible for the different land-based operations. Despite that, the army still has the access to the best technology in the whole world, comprising the helicopters, planes and mechanized infantry.
The military rank term seems to originate from the 16th century when people had the freedom of enlisting or making private contacts for serving as the private soldiers in different military units. Before the 16th century, a lot of soldiers were forced into the service by feudal lords or the royalty. A few sources claim that the usage of the ‘Private’ as the official ‘Rank’ goes back to the eighteenth century when the French military under Napoleon set up the permanent rank of soldat.
Private, the lowest rank of army is usually just held by the new force while at the basic combat training, but the rank is usually assigned to the soldiers after the punitive action has been taken. The private army wears no insignia.
The corporal rank was first established back in the year 1775 with the birth of the NCO Corps and the army. Along with the sergeant rank, the rank of corporal is the only one which’s never gone from the NCO Corps. The corporal rank has always been placed at the NCO ranks’ base. Primarily, the corporals have served as the smallest leaders of the unit in army: mainly, the leaders of the teams.
SGT or sergeants work in the area where the sparks fly. Even though not the lowest rank level where command is exercised, this level is the primary upon which the soldiers that are enlisted are referred to as the sergeant, and of all the NCO grades, this one, most likely, has the most impact on the soldiers of lower ranking. Privates, who are the main manpower strength and the army grade, usually have sergeants as the first NCO leader. It’s the grade sergeant that the army privates will really look forward to for example.
Regardless of what rank you obtain during your enlistment, you can be proud that you served, and rest assured, the rest of the nation salutes and respects your service. Is there any greater honor than to be hailed a veteran of the finest armed forces the world has ever known? My most cherished possessions are the medals my grandfather and father have passed on to me, and I display them proudly during the holidays that commemorate the United States Army.