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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

A question about Specialist Rank

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines

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A question about Specialist Rank

Unread postby Butch » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:14 am

I was confused when I saw information on this web.

"Short History of the Specialist Rank" written by CSM Dan Elder said...

---
The Army developed a program to separate specialists from NCOs, which gave birth to our current specialist system we now know. This program, which went in to effect 1 July 1955, grouped NCO grades E-4 to E-7, which had a corresponding specialist position that mirrored it. These new specialist would wear distinctive insignia which is partially still in effect for the Specialist (E-4/SPC) of today.
---

But, American Army's rank on this web show this change was in 1958.

Please, inform me about this.
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:42 am

Hi Butch,

The Specialist grades were adopted in 1955 and the insignia specified in September 1956. The original insignia had the same eagle but were smaller, 2 inches wide, with straight sides between the curved top and bottom.
Image


The plain patch was for Specialist 3rd Class (E-4), with an arc on the top for Spec. 2nd Class, two arcs for Spec. 1st Class, and three arcs for Master Specialist (E-7).

The larger badges, the same shape as today's, were authorized in Sept. 1959. The titles were also revised, to Spec. 4 through Spec 9.

Best regards,
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Unread postby Butch » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:59 am

Thank you so much. It is very useful information.

I'd like to make sure that...

Soldiers of the Army had wore The Specialist insignia since September 1956, not in 1958?
The Specialist grades were adopted in 1955 but its insignia specified in September 1956. Why was it needed one year?
When set The Specialist E-4 in combat personel? It was in 1995?
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Unread postby damir fiskal » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:50 pm

A question regarding this topic. Is the rank of Specialist directly connected to Technician from the WW2 period? I ask that because various grades of Technicians corresponded to grades of NCO's just like Specialists corresponded to NCOs, and as I understand it, Technicians didn't have command authority that was given to NCOs of corresponding grade. I'd also like to know when did the US Army introduce the grade (appointment) of Technician - I think it was some time before the actual insignia (chevrons with T) was introduced.
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:12 pm

Butch wrote:Thank you so much. It is very useful information.


You're welcome!

Soldiers of the Army had wore The Specialist insignia since September 1956, not in 1958?
The Specialist grades were adopted in 1955 but its insignia specified in September 1956. Why was it needed one year?


It is a pretty long process. After getting approval for new grades, various committees have to decide how they will be implemented, who will be selected, how it will affect various commands etc., plus deciding on the new insignia and getting it speced out and manufactured. So a year before soldiers are actually wearing the new badges is not unusual.

When set The Specialist E-4 in combat personel? It was in 1995?


If I understand the question correctly... Specialists have always served in combat units. The basic difference between them and the "line" NCOs (now just corporal) was that the "line" were primarily involved in leading other soldiers, specialists weren't.

best regards,
Justin
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:06 pm

damir fiskal wrote:A question regarding this topic. Is the rank of Specialist directly connected to Technician from the WW2 period? I ask that because various grades of Technicians corresponded to grades of NCO's just like Specialists corresponded to NCOs, and as I understand it, Technicians didn't have command authority that was given to NCOs of corresponding grade.


They were pretty much the same concept. In the 1920s and '30s there were "Specialists" that got extra specialist pay for theur skills, but kept the rank of private or PFC. "Line" NCOs resisted the idea of mechanics and radio technicialns wearing the same chevrons as combat leaders. But the specialists wanted some insignia for recognition of their skills. The T-grades were an attempt to address this.

In practice, men could jump from Tech to "line" NCO during the war. My grandfather, a draftee, was a clerk/typist, then a T/4 camouflage specialist, but ended up as a master sergeant and sergeant major of an engineer regiment.

After the war, the Army eliminated the Tech grades and went to "combat" and "non-combat" chevrons for a couple of years.

I'd also like to know when did the US Army introduce the grade (appointment) of Technician - I think it was some time before the actual insignia (chevrons with T) was introduced.


The Technician grades were new when the insignia was authorized in 1942.

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Unread postby Butch » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:24 pm

I had understood the Specialist , as a person who have special ability,and they were NCO rank, not private rank. Did the Specialist change into the private rank from the NCO rank in 1995?
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Unread postby Blakwhit » Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:29 pm

SPC have never been considered NCO ranks even when there were actually particular qualifacations to be one. In today's Army and Enlisted Man is automaticly promoted to SPC at 26 Months. This allows for a soldier to have advancement oppertunity even if they aren't ready to be an NCO. The Army say that SPC may manage troops of a lower rank, they don't use the word lead. In practice SPC are somtimes made team leaders if there isn't an NCO to fill the position but most often the simply searve as a glorified private. This was common after the elimination of SP5 and SP6 in 1985. But there are no special qualifactions to hold the rank of SPC, in fact its one of the most common ranks in the Army today. The rank of CPL has largly gone unused over the past several years.
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...

Unread postby Fatguy_in_alittlecoat » Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:40 pm

I for one think the Army needs to bring back the whole specialist system, for the simple reason that not everyone who is technically proficient is qualified to lead soldiers. Plus, as soldiers move up in rank they are increasingly separated from their skill in order to handle bureaucratic tasks required of their rank, especially E6 and above.

I'm sure this is not a popular opinion...after all, the Army said it got rid of the ranks because they expect everyone at the NCO rank level to be leaders, but the fact is not everyone is cut out to be one.

Either that or just get rid of the E4 Spec rank altogether, since the rank title itself makes no sense...they are not 'specialists' at anything!
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Re: ...

Unread postby Erskine Calderon » Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:30 pm

Fatguy_in_alittlecoat wrote:I for one think the Army needs to bring back the whole specialist system, for the simple reason that not everyone who is technically proficient is qualified to lead soldiers. Plus, as soldiers move up in rank they are increasingly separated from their skill in order to handle bureaucratic tasks required of their rank, especially E6 and above.

I'm sure this is not a popular opinion...after all, the Army said it got rid of the ranks because they expect everyone at the NCO rank level to be leaders, but the fact is not everyone is cut out to be one.

Either that or just get rid of the E4 Spec rank altogether, since the rank title itself makes no sense...they are not 'specialists' at anything!


Hence, the Corps of Warrant Officers was born.
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Unread postby Butch » Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:48 am

Thank you for answer. I want to confirm some point.

>SPC have never been considered NCO ranks even when there were actually particular qualifacations to be one.

Specialist rank is Specialist rank, not NOC rank? But, in the movie "Saving Private Ryan", a Technician named Upham, is called "Corporal" by other people. Is it a goof of this movie or custom of at the time?

>This was common after the elimination of SP5 and SP6 in 1985.

Is this fact mean that Specialist rank was changed from Specialist rank to Private rank in 1985?
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Unread postby Gonirr » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:22 am

To add even more confusion to this mess, I would like to point out that the first instance of a technicians rank actually appears in the 1904 regulations for the US Army. At that time, most technicians were referred to by their specialty such as engineer, master engineer, etc etera. After the first World War, most of these specialties were mergered with the NCO corps. In the 1930's the US Army reintroduced the specialist ranks, but placed them on equal standing with PFC's. This created a large problem, though, as there were a total of nine seperate specialist ranks. And so they began to downsize the number of specialists until it became just specialist (1985).
Nowadays, most specialists are civilian personnel.

And yes, in the second world war they were called technicians.
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Unread postby Butch » Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:44 pm

>Nowadays, most specialists are civilian personnel.

I got confused completely. Is a today's Specialist a civilian?
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Unread postby Butch » Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:34 pm

And one more question...

If Specialist is civilian, it is not combat personnel under the Geneva convention?
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:37 pm

No, they are actual soldiers in the US Army.
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Unread postby Butch » Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:20 pm

I put information about Specialist rank together. Will there be any wrong information?

The Specialist...
...is not NOC, is a particular rank which called "Specialist".
...is a combat personnel under the Geneva convention.
...can manage low rank soldier, bot cannot order them.
...was called The Technician from 1942 to 1948.
...was wiped out in 1948.
...was changed shape to NOC as non-combat personnel.
...was restored in September 1956.
...increased or decreased its grade from 1956 to 1995.
...was changed to Private rank in 1995. :cry:
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Unread postby ouyin2000 » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:13 pm

Here's something I stumbled upon, on another forum.

http://www2.powercom.net/~rokats/viet_era.html
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." -Kurt Cobain
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Unread postby Butch » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:39 am

I want to ask more questions about Specialist.

After 1995 years, how did a specialist's position change? Did they change into the position of only the name from the original specialist?

In the movie "Saving Private Ryan", a Technician named Upham, is called "Corporal" by other people. Is it a goof of this movie or custom of at the time?
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