A question on US NCO Ranks

Discussion in 'US' started by diggerdoug, Jul 3, 2013.

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  1. Using wikipedia to find this out. If wrong then let me know.

    In a British rifle platoon there is normally one sergeant and he is the 2ic. Then there are 8 man sections commanded by corporals with a lance corporal 2ic and both lead 4 man fireteams.

    In an American rifle platoon the 2ic is normally a sergeant 1st class. Then there are 9 man squads commanded by a staff sergeant and 4 man fireteams led by sergeants or corporals.

    So a British L/Cpl can do the same job as an American sergeant. A British Cpl=an American S/Sgt

    Does this cause problems during joint exercises? Are American NCO ranks devalued in anyway if they have authority over fewer soldiers than the British equivalent?
  2. As long as you salute the American warrant officer all is well.

    Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using ARRSE mobile app
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  3. Take a look at this.

    Even more confusing is their Warrant Officer rank system, of 4 levels. To us, a WOII is about the same as a Master or First Sergeant, and WOI is above that. They've also got Command Sergenant Majors, which is a bit like our Ober-RSMs of a garrison, or RMAS.
  4. I'm guessing that when warfare changed from standing in neat lines to having decisions being made by junior NCOs in charge of smaller units, the brits chose to have L/Cpls being taught leadership and initiative and the yanks made more sergeants. There do seem to be a lot of grades of sergeant in the US army. 5 pay grades.
  5. US WOs are more analogous to British officers than to British WOs/NCOs but there is no exact equivalent to them. The US equivalent of a Brit WO1 is an E-9 and of WO2 and E-8. There is an official NATO OR system which shows who is equivalent to who in each army but of course the exact roles and responsibilities vary quite a bit in practice.
  6. Use the OR rank comparison. OR6 is British Sgt and US SSgt
    Bugger, pipped at the post by Baboon
  7. At the beginning of WW2 US Army squad leaders were corporals, they had no lance-cpl rank. Very quickly (could even have been before Pearl Harbor) the job of squad leader was upped to Sgt, and then in late '43/early '44 upped again to S/Sgt.

    US Army NCO ranks and the jobs they hold have changed a number of times since then, altogether quite confusing.
  8. Just don't confuse 'rank' with 'ability'.
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  9. I wouldn't worry too much as by the time Call me Dave have finished with the infantry we will only have one Company but the number of officers will not be reduced. Sections will be commanded by Lt Cols.
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  10. Remember of course that under the NATO equivalent ranking system, a US Army sergeant (OR-5) has no equivalent in the British Army, and a staff sergeant (OR-6) is equivalent to a sergeant in the British Army.

    At the other end of the scale though, they let captains command companies!
  11. This is the US Army equivilant to an MT Warrant Officer in a British Army unit:

  12. The whole business of understanding US ranks is problematic, if you insist on assuming that there is automatic equivalence with brit infantry ranks.

    FFS, there is no equivalence between brit infantry and brit R Signals promotion frameworks.

    The best you can hope for, is to figure out (for Inf Pls alone) what are the common functions carried out in both, and then see who-does-what.

    My rough rule of thumb from Berlin a hundred yrs ago, was that a 10 man squad was US jnr Sgt's command. But in a Septic Pl there was not only a Pl 2ic type Sgt, but also a SSgt - somehow senior to, but also not senior to the 2ic-type-Sgt, who was responsible for resupply . . . and stuff . . . .

    Imagine: other Armies have the temerity to differ from the Brit template.

    It is shocking!!

    However do they manage?
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  13. I have always been told that the proliferation of different ranksin the US is due to the creation of the Defense Dept after WW II. Each of the 4 DoD services had differing rank/rate structures and differing pay grades and the government wanted a system with the same pay grades for all services. The three non-DoD uniformed services (USCG, NOAA[formerly USCGS] and USPHS also have the same rank structure and pay grades as the Navy but NOAA and USPHS are all officer services.
  14. Excellent, and doubtless accurate post: which in no way answers the Op's problem.

    To do that, he'd have to catalogue what the Brit Pl Sgt does, and then you'd have to decide which bits of that job are done by what rank in a US sub unit of the same size and arm.