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U.S. Army Enlisted Military Ranks

The United States Army has been in existence since prior to the official establishment of the United States. As the oldest and largest branch of the United States Military, the Army is responsible land-based military operations. In order to achieve its mission objectives, the Army needs an effective enlisted force. This enlisted force must be made up of highly motivated, technically skilled, and highly trained individuals who live by the Seven Army Core Values, which are Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.

A college degree is not a requirement to enter the U.S Army as an enlisted member of the service. However, earning your college degree while serving in the Army provides you with many opportunities. If you desire to make the Army your career, a degree can not only help your career as an enlisted member, but it can also “qualify” you to become an Army Officer. On the other hand, if you are planning on re-entering the civilian workforce, earning your college degree while serving certainly helps to prepare you for that transition. To find schools that support your drive to earn a degree, click on the "Find A School" button below:

Grade
Insignia
Title
Description
E-1
E-2
Army Private (PVT/PV2)
Private (PVT/PV2)
Private (PVT, E-1) is the lowest rank in the Army. A Private is a trainee who’s starting Basic Combat Training (BCT). Primary role of individuals that wear this rank is to carry out orders issued to them to the best of his or /her ability. The rank of Private (PVT) does not have an insignia.
E-3
Army Private First Class (PFC)
Private First Class (PFC)
A Private (PV2) is promoted to Private First Class (PFC) after one year of service or earlier at the request of supervisor. An individual can begin BCT at this rank with experience or prior military training. As is the case with a Private, a PFC carries out orders issued to them to the best of his or her ability.
E-4
Army Specialist (SPC)
Specialist (SPC)
A Specialist can manage other enlisted Soldiers of lower rank. To become a Specialist, a Soldier must have served a minimum of two years and attended a specific training class or must have enlisted with a four year college degree. In the case of the later, an individual can enter BCT at this rank.
E-4
Army Corporal (CPL)
Corporal (CPL)
The rank of Corporal is the entry-level of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks. A Corporal serves as team leader of the smallest Army units. Like a Sergeant, individuals of the rank of Corporal are responsible for individual training, personal appearance and cleanliness of Soldiers.
E-5
Army Sergeant (SGT)
Sergeant (SGT)
A Sergeant is typically in command of a squad, which is made up of 9 to 10 Soldiers. Sergeants are considered to have the greatest impact on Soldiers because they oversee them in their daily tasks. In short, SGTs set an example and the standard for Privates to look up to, and live up to.
E-6
Army Staff Sergeant (SSG)
Staff Sergeant (SSG)
A Staff Sergeant is also in command of a squad. Usually, a SSG has one or more SGTs under their direct leadership. SSGs are responsible for developing, maintaining and utilizing the full range of his Soldiers' potential.
E-7
Army Sergeant First Class (SFC)
Sergeant First Class (SFC)
The rank of Sergeant First Class brings with it a higher level of responsibility. A Sergeant First Class is the key assistant and advisor to the platoon leader and Generally has 15 to 18 years of Army experience. A SFC puts this experience to use by making quick, accurate decisions in the best interests of the Soldiers and the country.
E-8
Army Master Sergeant (MSG)
Master Sergeant (MSG)
A Master Sergeant is the principal NCO at the battalion level, and it is not uncommon for a member of this rank to serve at a higher level. A MSG is not charged with all the leadership responsibilities of a 1SG, but is expected to dispatch leadership and other duties with the same professionalism.
E-8
Army First Sergeant (1SG)
First Sergeant (1SG)
The First Sergeant is the principal NCO and life-blood of the company: the provider, disciplinarian and wise counselor. The 1SG Instructs other SGTs, advises the Commander and helps train all enlisted Soldiers. In addition, he or she assists Officers at the company level.
E-9
Army Sergeant Major (SGM)
Sergeant Major (SGM)
A Sergeant Major's experience and abilities are equal to that of the CSM, but the sphere of influence regarding leadership is generally limited to those directly under his charge. The SGM assists Officers at the battalion level.
E-9
Army Command Sergeant Major (CSM)
Command Sergeant Major (CSM)
A Command Sergeant Major functions without supervision and is expected to be calm, settled and accurate. A CSM must lead by example and exhibit the Seven Army Core Values at all times. Supplying recommendations to the commander and staff, the CSM carries out policies and standards on the performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted personnel while assisting Officers at the brigade level.
E-9
Sergeant Major of the Army
Sergeant Major of the Army
The Sergeant Major of the Army is the epitome of what it means to be a Sergeant. He or she oversees all Non-Commissioned Officers. There is only one Sergeant Major of the Army, and he or she serves as the senior enlisted advisor and consultant to the Chief of Staff of the Army (a four-star General).
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