Talk:Master sergeant

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Both views are incorrect and the clarity issue is continouly being sought. As a MSgt there is a fine line on the use of MSgt and MGySgt. The MSgt / MGySgt is the senior tactical and technical advisor to the commanding officer where as the 1stSgt and SgtMaj are responsible for all administrative matters and advise the commander appropriately.


Master Sergeant / First Sergeant?[edit]

  • Can someone clarify the difference between Master Sergeant and First Sergeant in U.S. Army? - Wguynes 22:23, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)
  • Again, same question as above, but for the U.S. Marine Corps. - Wguynes 05:40, Mar 30, 2004 (UTC)
  • The article currently states that a master sergeant is usually given the courtesy of having a room called to "at ease" upon entrance. Shouldn't this be "called to 'attention' upon entrance as opposed to 'at east'"? -allevolve 22:19, 3 April 2011 (UTC)


A master sgt in the Army and Marines is a staff position (for example, works in the S-1 shop). First Sergeant is a leadership position. The 1SG is the senior enlisted man in a company and reports directly to the company commander. SgtLarry

Larry is mostly correct, however, it's not quite as cut and dried as that in all cases. In the Marine Corps, quite a few technical and support units, especially smaller ones like companies, can have MSgts and Master Gunnery Sergeants fill the NCOIC billet (although I've often seen the billet name changed to "Senior Enlisted"). Read the descriptions in this and the MGySgt aricles to get a better idea, I think it's explained pretty well.

Fox1 05:03, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

I find it stupid how the Air Force uses the titles Master Sgt and Staff Sgt one rank below the Army ranks of the same name.

You would probably also find it stupid that the Air Force had a rank of Sergeant below the Army rank of the same name, unsigned. Let's leave the service-bashing outside, where it belongs. -Lordraydens 00:35, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Is the article about the term "Master Sergeant" or the pay grade E-8?

While the question/comment (posed in the third bullet above) is rather dated, the answer is that in current US custom, only officers (commissioned and warrant) rate the command of "attention" to announce their presence/arrival/entry or departure from an area, room, compartment, etc. Senior NCO's (or Staff NCOs in the USMC) at the E-8 and E-9 level, customarily rate the command of "at ease" in the same situations. The difference being that for an officer, all junior ranking personnel are required to stand at the parade, or drill, position of "attention" until the senior either says "as you were," "carry on," "at ease," or begins giving instructions, etc. He/she is entitled to the same courtesy upon departure, but except in formal situations, will usually preempt the call to "attention" (the responsibility of the next senior individual present) by announcing "carry on" or some other such similar remark immediately before departing. The command "at ease" requires troops not in formation to immediately stop talking and direct their attention to the individual announced, until again given the command "as you were" or "carry on." They are not normally required to stand unless directed to do so by the senior ranking member. The commands "as you were" or "carry on" simply mean to resume doing whatever you were doing before the senior's arrival/departure, or to begin doing whatever is appropriate after receiving whatever instructions or orders the senior issues. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CobraDragoon (talkcontribs) 22:39, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Samuel Doe[edit]

Surely Master Sergeant Samuel Doe deserves mention in this article? Grover cleveland 01:55, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

HAHA, no. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.41.143.1 (talk) 17:51, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

MSG/Top[edit]

I've been in the US Army for more than a minute and I've never heard anyone call a Master Sergeant called Top unless he's either about to be frocked first Sergeant (1SG) and already acting 1SG or he's just left the position and soldiers are running on autopilot. The army is a big place with differing traditions but I don't think that to say that Top may refer to a MSG in the US Army is just not wholly accurate. SPC(P)USA, Baghdad --L3viTheBitter 13:03, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

If you read closely, the article as written mentions that Master Sergeants may also be called "Top" if they are the senior non-commissioned officer in a unit. This is true; often you will find detachment sergeants or acting first sergeants called "Top." The article certainly does not imply that all master sergeants are called "Top" - as you know, they are called "Master Sergeant" or "Sergeant." It is usually the status of being the most senior NCO in a company or detachment - at the top of the enlisted pyramid - that makes one a "Top," rather than the presence (or lack of) the mike identifier and a diamond. -- CPT, USAR (currently a Company Cdr) AzureCitizen 18:42, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes it takes more than a minute to hear everything. :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.137.61.74 (talk) 02:50, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Agree with AzureCitizen. I personally worked under several MSGs in the Army (at the Division HQ level) who were their section/team chiefs, and who had no problem being called "top" by their subordinate enlisted men and by their immediate superiors of the brass species (commissioned officers). The one caveat I would add is that such usage of "top" seemed to be informal and confined to the immediate working environment only. When among other personnel, "Master Sergeant" or "Sergeant" was used to address those NCOs, as "top" in that environment only applied to the HHC First Sergeant. The "top" of my section might not be the "top" of your section, but our Company Top was always the 1SG. I recognize that this qualifies as 'original research,' but it might help clarify matters for some readers. 204.86.42.50 (talk) 20:02, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. --dashiellx (talk) 17:34, 6 June 2008 (UTC)