Quartermaster sergeant

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Quartermaster sergeant (QMS) is a class of rank or appointment in some armed forces, especially those of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.


Quartermaster sergeant appointments in the Irish Defence Forces include:

United Kingdom[edit]

A quartermaster sergeant in the British Army and Royal Marines is usually a non-commissioned officer or warrant officer who is responsible for supplies or stores. However, in the Army this definition is extended to almost any warrant officer class 2 who does not hold a sergeant major appointment, as well as a number of staff sergeant and colour sergeant appointments. In the British Army, quartermaster sergeants are frequently addressed and referred to as "Q".

Examples of quartermaster sergeant appointments include:

In the Household Cavalry, the designation is replaced with quartermaster corporal (QMC), as in squadron quartermaster corporal and regimental quartermaster corporal.

In the Royal Marines, quartermaster sergeant was an actual rank between colour sergeant and regimental sergeant major[1] (and equivalent to warrant officer class II in the Army) until the Royal Marines themselves re-adopted the ranks of warrant officer class I and II in 1973[2] (although the term continued to be used interchangeably for warrant officers class II until at least 1981[3]). Quartermaster sergeants could hold the appointment of company sergeant major and staff bandmaster.

United States[edit]

Confederate quartermaster sergeant stripes shown in red artillery color

The rank was in use by both the Union Army and the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. The rank was below sergeant major and above ordnance sergeant. The same rank insignia was used by both armies. Both armies varied the color of the stripes by assigning red for artillery, yellow for cavalry, and blue for infantry. Some Confederate militia units varied these colors even further and had other colors including black stripes for various units. The rank was in use by the U.S. Army during World War I, and was discontinued after the war.