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The United States Army 's enlisted rank insignia that was used during World War I differs from the current system. The color scheme used for the insignia's chevron was olive drab for field use uniforms or one of several colors (depending on the corps) on dress uniforms. The chevron system used by enlisted men during World War I came into being in 1895, and was changed to a different system in 1919. Specification 760, which was dated May 31, 1905 contained 45 different enlisted insignia that varied designs and titles by different corps of the army. General Order Number 169, which was enacted on August 14, 1907, created an even larger variety of enlisted rank insignia. Pay grades were not yet in use by the U.S. Army. The pay system identified the job assignment of the soldier. By the end of World War I, the system contained 128 different insignia designs.
|1st grade||2nd grade||3rd grade||4th grade||5th grade||6th grade||7th grade||8th grade||9th grade||10th grade||11th grade||12th grade|
|Regimental sergeant major||Regimental supply sergeant||Battalion sergeant major||Color sergeant||First sergeant||Mess sergeant||Stable sergeant||Company supply sergeant||Sergeant||Corporal||Lance corporal/Private first class (from 1920)||Private|
Other ranks and pay grades that held distinctive insignia not shown here included:
|Regimental sergeant major||Chief musician||Chief trumpeter||Drum major||Corporal||Farrier/blacksmith|
|Regimental quartermaster sergeant||Squadron sergeant major||Principal musician||Sergeant||Lance corporal||Saddler|
|Regimental commissary sergeant||Color sergeant||First sergeant||Troop quartermaster sergeant||Cook||Trumpeter|
A chevron is a V-shaped mark, often inverted. The word is usually used in reference to a kind of fret in architecture, or to a badge or insignia used in military or police uniforms to indicate rank or length of service, or in heraldry and the designs of flags.
A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers usually enter directly from a military academy, Officer Candidate School (OCS), or Officer Training School (OTS) after receiving a post-secondary degree.
Sergeant is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, serjeant, is used in The Rifles and other units that draw their heritage from the British light infantry. Its origin is the Latin serviens, 'one who serves', through the French term sergeant.
Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. Within NATO, each member nation's corresponding military rank of corporal is combined under the NATO-standard rank scale code OR-3 or OR-4. However, there are often differences in how each nation employs corporals. Some militaries do not have corporals, but may instead have a junior sergeant.
Private first class (PFC) is a military rank held by junior enlisted personnel in some countries' armed forces.
Staff sergeant is a rank of non-commissioned officer used in the armed forces of many countries. It is also a police rank in some police services.
A master sergeant is the military rank for a senior non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries. This is a NATO ranking.
Sergeant major is a senior non-commissioned rank or appointment in many militaries around the world. In Commonwealth countries, the various degrees of sergeant major are appointments held by warrant officers. In the United States, there are also various grades of sergeant major, all of the same pay grade of E-9; however, the Sergeant Major of the Army and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, as their respective service's Senior Enlisted Advisor, receive a special rate of basic pay that is higher than all other sergeants major.
Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some police forces and other uniformed organisations. It is below the rank of corporal, and is typically the lowest non-commissioned officer, usually equivalent to the NATO Rank Grade OR3.
The chart below represents the current enlisted rank insignia of the United States Air Force.
The chart below shows the current enlisted rank insignia of the United States Army, with seniority, and pay grade, increasing from right to left. The enlisted ranks of corporal (E-4) and higher are considered non-commissioned officers (NCOs). The rank of specialist is also in pay grade E-4, but does not hold non-commissioned officer status; it is common that a soldier may never hold the rank of corporal, and instead be promoted from specialist to sergeant, attaining NCO status at that time.
The British Army other ranks, is the term used to refer to all ranks below officers in the British Army and the Royal Marines is "other ranks". It includes warrant officers, non-commissioned officers ("NCOs") and ordinary soldiers with the rank of private or regimental equivalent. Officers may, in speaking, distinguish themselves from those "in the ranks".
The term used in the Royal Air Force (RAF) to refer to all ranks below commissioned officer level is other ranks (ORs). It includes warrant officers (WOs), non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and airmen.
Before Unification as the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, the Canadian military had three distinct services: the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Canadian Army. All three services had a Regular (full-time) component and a reserve (part-time) component. The rank structure for these services were based on the services of the British military, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, and the British Army. The change to a "Canadian" rank structure meant that many of the traditional (British) rank titles and insignia were removed or changed.
Specialist is a military rank in some countries’ armed forces. In the United States Armed Forces, it is one of the four junior enlisted ranks in the U.S. Army, above private (PVT), private (PV2) and private first class and is equivalent in pay grade to corporal, in the U.S. Space Force it consists of the four junior enlisted ranks, prior to the rank of sergeant.
The U.S. Army enlisted rank insignia that was used during World War II differs from the current system. The color scheme used for the insignia's chevron design was defined as olive drab chevrons on a dark blue-black wool background for wear on "winter" uniform dress coats and dress shirts or khaki chevrons on a dark blue-black cotton background for wear on the various types of field jackets and "winter" uniform fatigue shirts. An unauthorized variant that nevertheless saw wide use was olive drab chevrons on a khaki cotton background for wear on the "summer" uniform dress coats and dress shirts. This scheme of rank insignia was established by War Department Circular No. 303 on 5 August 1920 and would see two significant changes in 1942. The usage of this style of insignia was ended by Department of the Army Circular No. 202, dated 7 July 1948, which provided for significant changes in both rank and insignia design.
Quartermaster sergeant (QMS) is a class of rank or appointment in some armed forces, especially those of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and formerly also in the United States.
First sergeant is typically a senior non-commissioned officer rank, used in many countries. In NATO armed forces the rank is on OR8 level.