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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

No ranks?

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No ranks?

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:39 pm

A thinkpiece by an Air Force major proposing to eliminate ranks in the US armed forces:

http://www.airforcetimes.com/opinion/co ... ic-change/
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby general_tiu » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:25 am

I thought he's going for the system for the PLA in China in 1965-1987 - No ranks at all.
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby Onslow123 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:50 am

The idea reminds me of Swedish Armed Forces with reintroduced senior NCO-s (after 2009), where OR-9 is senior to OF-3 etc. It also reminds me of Singaporean Military Domain Experts Scheme, Wikipedia says, that it is a contiguous rank structure, with continual advancements from ME1 to senior ME ranks for outstanding performers.
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby SFMRAS » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:41 pm

Onslow123 wrote:The idea reminds me of Swedish Armed Forces with reintroduced senior NCO-s (after 2009), where OR-9 is senior to OF-3 etc. It also reminds me of Singaporean Military Domain Experts Scheme, Wikipedia says, that it is a contiguous rank structure, with continual advancements from ME1 to senior ME ranks for outstanding performers.

If I understand correctly, the Swedish system is what I thought would be the logical thing to do.
The U.S. Military (except the airforce) uses warrant officer ranks, so realigning them would also work with some finagling; perhaps designate chief warrant officers as equivalent to certain commissioned grades. Or the USN LDO system.
Of course, I prefer that officers should (with certain exceptions) require prior service in the branch (army/navy/etc., not infantry/artillery/etc.) they wish to commission into.
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby dcfowler » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:57 pm

"perhaps designate chief warrant officers as equivalent to certain commissioned grades."

At least for the purposes of protocol, this is already the case:

WO1=2LT
CW2=1LT
CW3=CPT
CW4=MAJ
CW5=LTC
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby marcpasquin » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:55 pm

It seems like every country which have attempted to unify their military branches or eliminate rank titles (or both) eventually had to backtrack, even if only partly. In some cases this was because too much streamlining can result in loss of expertise but on a more basic level, I think it might have a lot to do with a perceived loss of prestige and traditions.

From an operational point of view, you can have a system functioning perfectly well with all personnel being referred to by their position and exercising the power that comes with it but because of the military's long history, there would still be this feeling that without rank titles, people's career achievement are not being recognized fully.

A good example of this is that historically, "non-fighting" or "civilians" branches in various armies ended up lobbying hard to get military rank titles instead of "senior surgeon" or "assistant paymaster". It's not that people couldn't navigate this hierarchy but that it gave the appearance that despite functioning within the military and in some cases, working on or near the battlefield, their relative achievement and level of importance was not fully appreciated.

Another issue on an even more fundamental level is precedents: The only historical examples for armies that have tried to do away with traditional military ranks were those of communist governments, something which is bound to be a big sticking point for a number of US military personnel.
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:59 pm

I wish Major Deibler had at least sketched out what he was thinking about. But some of his examples suggest he may have been talking, in part, about breaking down the distinction between Officers and Other Ranks - rather than abolishing ranks altogether.
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby marcpasquin » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:03 am

jrichardn2 wrote:I wish Major Deibler had at least sketched out what he was thinking about. But some of his examples suggest he may have been talking, in part, about breaking down the distinction between Officers and Other Ranks - rather than abolishing ranks altogether.


his dissertation (Evolution of the United States Military Systeme) go into more details and while he say that rank titles "might" be retained, his reform put the emphasis on the position a person occupy rather then any rank.

His model separate personnel into Strategic 1-5 (top), operational 1-5 (middle) and tactical 1-5 (bottom) levels. the realignment would reassign people thusly (select being based on current role):

Strategic: "select" O6 - O10 & select E9
Operational: O1-O6, W1-W5 & E7-E9
Tactical: E1-E6

Because of this new division, he uses terms such as "Service Chief" and even mention the fact that the new system would require revision of the geneva convention meaning that difference between officer and enlisted , as well as their rank, may eventually be eliminated or at least modified beyond recognition.
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Re: No ranks?

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:20 pm

Great thought, Marc, actually looking up his other writings! I've downloaded his paper as well.

We can now have fun with hypothetical ranks. :)
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