We often think of the Army as being one big military branch. While this is true, it’s also made up of numerous ranks that show the standings of its service members. Below are the different Army ranks in order and what they each mean.
How the Army Ranks Operate
Each Army rank is meant to respond to a rank of a higher power. For instance, a private will have to answer to a corporal or sergeant while these two positions will need to answer to warrant officers. This leadership model works to ensure that everything runs smoothly and is designed to encourage lower-ranking members to work toward higher ones.
What Do Ranks Indicate?
The different ranks mainly indicate the experience of a service member. However, they also show a higher pay grade and amount of responsibilities a person has, such as needing to watch over and train a group of soldiers for battle.
Sorting Through the Different Ranks
Every Army uniform is equipped with a symbol that shows the ranking of that service member. For example, a person who is a private will have an upside-down yellow and blue V on their uniform while generals will have silver stars attached to them.
When are Soldiers Promoted?
While there are no set guidelines as to when a soldier gets promoted to a new rank, there are a few ways they can quickly move up. Some aspects looked at include:
● How long the service member has been serving.
● Previous accomplishments such as ROTC courses and college credits.
● By looking at their duty performance (competence, leadership, and training).
● How well they know the Soldier’s Manual.
If a service member meets these requirements, they will be awarded points. All of these points will be added up and when they reach a certain amount (usually 150), the soldier will be promoted to a new rank. However, as a soldier reaches higher ranks, numerous other things will be looked at, such as performance records, duty positions, and if they have any medals.
The U.S. Army Ranks in Order
Because there are so many Army ranks, they are broken up into three different sections: enlisted grades, warrant officer grades, and officer grades.
The enlisted grades are the first category and somewhat lower-ranking positions in the Army. Despite this, they have the most amount of positions.
● Private 2
● Private First Class
● Staff Sergeant
● Sergeant First Class
● Master Sergeant
● First Sergeant
● Sergeant Major
● Command Sergeant Major
● Sergeant Major of the Army
Warrant Officer Grades
Warrant officer grades are higher than the enlisted grades but lower in rank than the officer grades. These grades tend to teach and lead enlisted ones.
● Warrant Officer
● Chief Warrant Officer 2
● Chief Warrant Officer 3
● Chief Warrant Officer 4
● Chief Warrant Officer 5
The officer grades are the highest-ranking ones with General of the Army being the highest position an Army member can reach. Unlike the other two grades that typically have one person watching a few hundred people, officer grades can have just one person watching over more than 40,000 Army members.
● Second Lieutenant
● First Lieutenant
● Lieutenant Colonel
● Brigadier General
● Major General
● Lieutenant General
● General of the Army
The Army is packed with different ranks which can make keeping track of their orders a difficult task. Despite this, they can easily be remembered by their different grades which indicate the various tasks and responsibilities each one has. In addition to this, by having a handful of ranks available, it encourages a soldier to work harder.