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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS (Rank comparison, translation issues etc)

Rank vs. Position insignia

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Does the "rankinsignia" showes personall skill or position in a chain command

Personal skill (Individual's rank)
17
33%
Personal skill (Individual's rank)
17
33%
Command chain position (can go up or down with the rank depending on a duties)
9
17%
Command chain position (can go up or down with the rank depending on a duties)
9
17%
 
Total votes : 52

Rank vs. Position insignia

Unread postby Zdzislaw Rudzki » Wed Aug 04, 2004 12:11 am

Hi All
As I can see there are different approaches to the rank system - especially in the NCO/WO region.
Therefore I would like You all to post information of your homeland forces. Are the rank insignia reflecting the PERSONAL rank of a soldier or are they reflecting his position in the command chain?
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Unread postby kenneth » Sat Aug 14, 2004 2:44 pm

Hi Rudski,
In South Africa the WO ranks symbolise a command structure which permiate all the way up to the top ranks. In other words we have:-
1-WO2
2-WO 1 Regimental Sergeant Major level 4
3-Group Sergeant Major level 4a
4-Formation Sergeant Major
5-Base Sergeant Major
6-Sergeant Major of the (Service-Medical, Navy, Airforce and Army)
7-Sergeant Major of the National Defence Force.
So with the above in mind these ranks, in my opinion reflect mostly the post in a supportive command structure as the assistants to equally high Officers Ranks.
To cut a long story short the WO of the National Defence Force would work and be in the office of the General of the National Defence Force.
Will that help.
All in love and War
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Unread postby Kedyw » Mon Aug 16, 2004 4:38 am

I cannot decide, because the Military in America and most of Europe has Rank based on merit, while other countries base it off of a need be basis. So...I dunno...
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Unread postby hhbooker2 » Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:23 pm

Cody Blackshear wrote:I cannot decide, because the Military in America and most of Europe has Rank based on merit, while other countries base it off of a need be basis. So...I dunno...
I am a Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) in the American Volunteer Reserve (http://www.continuetoserve.org) and my rank was based on my prior military service in the United States Army, the South Carolina Army National Guard, the Maryland Naval Militia, and the California State Military Reserve in addition to my M.A. degree from California State University, Northridge. AVR performs final honours for veterans. Warrant Officer is a needed rank for people like myself who would otherwise by noncommissioned officers, but with a higher education and many of us do not wish to be comissioned officers or are too old, I am 62! I still use my old nickname "Sarge" when I was a Sergeant. Sarge Booker :)
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Unread postby Blakwhit » Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:24 pm

Well I guess I'm going to have to say personal skill and the reason why is that you are promoted in the US military based on the recomendations of a board for the most part (up to a certin level its time in service or points). The board considers a number of things, training, past job performance, decorations, and merit which you could also call personel skill. The board will rank you amoung your peers and determine if you get promoted based on there opinuion of the your future development. So thats how promotions work in the US military. Granted some positions require a certin level of rank, you may be promoted to that rank because of the position, but your rank will never go down after you leave the position, unless you are given a temporary promotion. Thats all I've got folks.

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Unread postby valtrex » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:45 pm

Well, here in Greece, military service remains obligatory (12 months), so I would presume that the ranks (especially NCO) reflect one's personality & skills...for instance, when I did my "time" back in '91, I was a simple pvt. My CO though-because I was of higher education & my performance was...Image...quite good-made me lance corporal...anyway, many of those of higher education, become Candidate Officers in the Army & after their service, every time they take part in annual exercise or training, they get promoted. In '96 or '98, I met with a reserve (draftee) Lt.Col at the age of 58. So, I would say, rank position shows personal skill & abilities.
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Unread postby lordziba » Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:53 pm

Hehe, I like this topic, sort of odd example, there an anime called Gundam SEED, so there one faction -- Earth Allience. Interesting that the EAAF have double set of insignias -- one traditional rank on collars, the other positional, especially where to the High and Flag Officers. For instance, regular Captain (Naval based ranks, they spcefleet/army combine) commands a battlegroup, he still have regular rank insignia, however different breast patch signifiying as Fleet Captain, or same goes for Admirals, while person has rank Rear-Admiral but commands base or one big ship has different breast patch from Rear-Admiral in charge of the fleet/squadron. I noted in general, maybe this instead of real promotion to cut pay and not increase the number of Flag officers? Indeed, cold be the second system of ranks/positions instituted as way to cut down on rank promotions , or just to give a brevet rank, any opinions?

Thanks, Zibster.
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Unread postby Caim_Dubh » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:42 am

For the US Army it's mostly meritorious, with three exceptions: corporal, first sergeant, and Sergeant Major of the Army. Commanders have the option of giving a soldier local appointment orders to corporal without actual promotion orders, effectively making it an "acting" rank. Once the soldier moves to another unit or the local orders are rescinded the soldier reverts to specialist. First sergeant is strictly based on position. A soldier is not promoted to first sergeant unless he is in a first sergeant slot or moving in to a first sergeant slot. Sergeant Major of the Army works in much the same way. A soldier is promoted to SMA, but once his term is over if he elected to stay on active duty he would have to be laterally demoted to Command Sergeant Major. This is usually a non-issue since generally speaking SMAs are selected from very senior CSMs, meaning they will usually be over 30 years by the time their tour as SMA is up and would likely be required to retire.

Generals are similarly promoted based on the position they are assigned to, and there are certain requirements they must meet to keep their rank should they retire or move to another job.

Of course, all these positional promotions generally go to soldiers that are selected on the basis of merit, so there is some screening before a soldier's name will be put forth for determination.
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Unread postby Fatguy_in_alittlecoat » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:44 pm

Personally I'd like to see the Army drop the Specialist rank entirely and just have it be Corporal. If you're advanced enough to be an E-4 to begin with, you should be considered an NCO...the Marines and Navy do!!

The Army used to have a whole Specialist system, up to Spec-7. They got rid of it when they realized that if you're an E-7 you should be leading people anyway, not just be a technician of some sort.

The Army could adopt a Lance Corporal rank, and allow those with college degrees to start at that rank instead of E-4, since that would be an NCO.
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Personnal skill

Unread postby 60bill » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:13 pm

For Europe and North America, I would go for personnal skill up to mid level, then after that chain of command. Particularly in the service Corps.
Personal skill because up to senior NCO its based on knowledge, training and experience.
After attaining senior NCO grade, I would say it’s the ability to put that knowledge to use in a supervisory/command position [although technically a corporal can command].
For officers I would say the same for up to field rank.
Learning to command and gaining experience at each level.
Bottom line – Both.
Fear is the best weapon
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Two Points

Unread postby ryanemilia » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:22 am

I am a Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) in the American Volunteer Reserve (http://www.continuetoserve.org) and my rank was based on my prior military service in the United States Army, the South Carolina Army National Guard, the Maryland Naval Militia, and the California State Military Reserve in addition to my M.A. degree from California State University, Northridge. AVR performs final honours for veterans. Warrant Officer is a needed rank for people like myself who would otherwise by noncommissioned officers, but with a higher education and many of us do not wish to be comissioned officers or are too old, I am 62! I still use my old nickname "Sarge" when I was a Sergeant. Sarge Booker :)

SGT Booker it is my pleasure to reply to your post. I love your work on uniforms. Really, you have inspired & informed so much of my WWII uniform interests. Thanks a bunch!
I also serve (MA National Guard) and honor your continued service.

Ryan


Second point At one time I was a Army Specialist and let me tell you very few of my peers were NCO material (at that time). The Army is big and the marines are small. E-4 in the Army is a pay grade. But Specialists form some kind of union called the "specialist mafia" some can remain in the rear and under the radar.
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Warrant Officer - Rank or appointment

Unread postby seadog » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:12 pm

In the Rep of SA we have always only had two WO ranks- WO2 and WO1, all the others were appointments with allowances ie RSM/Group RSM/Formation SM/ SM:Service(Army,AirForce/Navy etc, SM:SANDF. This changed 1 June 2008 when the new WO rank structure was introduced. All are now promotion posts and you retain the rank even if you move to another post. New ranks are WO2/WO1/Senior WO/Master WO/Chief WO/ Senior Chief WO/Master Chief WO.
See:http://www.dcc.mil.za/bulletins/Files/2008/38bulletin2008.htm

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04 February 2009 - Wendesday night - 7:40 p.m.

Unread postby hhbooker2 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 am

ryanemilia wrote:I am a Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) in the American Volunteer Reserve (http://www.continuetoserve.org) and my rank was based on my prior military service in the United States Army, the South Carolina Army National Guard, the Maryland Naval Militia, and the California State Military Reserve in addition to my M.A. degree from California State University, Northridge. AVR performs final honours for veterans. Warrant Officer is a needed rank for people like myself who would otherwise by noncommissioned officers, but with a higher education and many of us do not wish to be comissioned officers or are too old, I am 62! I still use my old nickname "Sarge" when I was a Sergeant. Sarge Booker :)

SGT Booker it is my pleasure to reply to your post. I love your work on uniforms. Really, you have inspired & informed so much of my WWII uniform interests. Thanks a bunch!
I also serve (MA National Guard) and honor your continued service.

Ryan

Dear Ryan: Thank you, if you'd like to get free scans emailed to you daily, email me at: (hhbooker2@yahoo.com) as I scan on military booklets, books, brochures, catalogues, etc., I have books from 1881 to 1967, both from the U.S. and other nations as well! I like to scan every day I have posted about 7,500 images at usmilitariaforum dot com and altogether have scanned almost 100,000 pictures and pages, over 6,000 at webshots dot com smilies-15 Sarge Booker of Tujunga, California smilies-05

Second point At one time I was a Army Specialist and let me tell you very few of my peers were NCO material (at that time). The Army is big and the marines are small. E-4 in the Army is a pay grade. But Specialists form some kind of union called the "specialist mafia" some can remain in the rear and under the radar.
Sgt. Herbert Hillary Booker II, A.A., B.A., M.A.
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Unread postby Caim_Dubh » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:48 am

I have the pleasure to work with quite a few "old" guys that initially enlisted in the US Army just prior to or during the Vietnam War, when the post-Korea Specialist system was in effect. In talking with them I've come to think the Specialist system has some merit. Generally speaking, the idea was that you could have some very senior guys in combat support and combat service support who didn't need to be "officers" of any stripe or bar. They could be experts in their field, and continue to advance in grade even if promotions to sergeant rank in their field were limited.

For instance, one of these old-timers worked in a brigade interrogations section where the senior interrogator was a Sergeant First Class, but all the other guys were SP6 or SP5 based on their level of experience. My grandfather came in the Army as a cook in 1950, and he was promoted up to SP5. It wasn't until he became the Messhall Sergeant that he was actually promoted to sergeant rank, as a Staff Sergeant.

If I were Chief of Staff of the Army for a day, I'd bring back a middling specialist system, much like we had up to the '80s, with SP4 through SP6. I would allow SP6s to serve to 20 years and retire, but I would peg the retention control point at 20 years so they would have to take promotion to Sergeant First Class or retire. Of course, there are those who understandably say the US Army's rank system is too muddled as it is, and to them I say maybe so, but at least it's better than it was in WWI when each corps had different insignia and different titles, not to mention pay scales.

Of course, I'd also not mind the all or nothing approach and go back to the Continental Army's enlisted ranks of private, corporal, and sergeant, with all senior sergeant ranks being appointments much like the Commonwealth nations. But that's probably a different topic. smilies-05
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Specialist grades from 1902-1920, 1920-1948, 1955-1959, etc.

Unread postby hhbooker2 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:37 am

"GREETINGS & SALUTATIONS!" CAIM DUBH, yes, quite so, actually specialists go back to 1902 when the Army of the United States had rank insignia that was not chevrons, but a specialty mark above a wreath for Junior rank and a star above for Senior rank. Those who were electricians were well paid at that time and from 1920 to 1940 they had Private First Class with six pay grades with one to six arce below a single chevron of a PFC, so they adopted Master Specialist in 1955 with an eagle with 3 arcs above, the same with two arcs for Specialist 1st Class, one arc for Specialist 2nd Class and the eagle alone without arcs for Specialist 3rd Class. In 1959 they changed their titles and an eagle became a Specialist 4, with an arc it was a Specialist 5, with two arcs for Specialist 6, and a Specialist 7 with three arcs. 1959 to 1965 they had Specialist 8 with three arcs above and a chevron below point down; Specialist 9 with same, but two chevrons below points down. Since they eliminated everything except Specialist 4 and now call it Specialist, it seems Warrant Officer ranks are for higher specialists? They added a CW5 and might add CW6? W.O. proibably means more money and greater respect than a Specialist might receive? Some nations have up to six or maybe more warrant officer grades? The United States Navy had warrants long before the U.S. Army, perhaps their specialists? smilies-05 Sarge Booker of Tujunga, California (hhbooker2@yahoo.co) I'm glad I enlisted underage (16) in the 1950s as the "brown shoe" army was being phased out, lucky me!
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Answer to poll

Unread postby NJSMITTY » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:36 pm

In my opinion your position in the hierarchy of the organisation should require a commensurate level of knowledge, experience and ability. I guess that means the insignia one is priveleged to wear and the authority it commands should be backed up by ability not just time in any service. I see nothing wrong with being a pfc for twenty years as long as you are first class. You should be respected and compensated accordingly
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