Private first class

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Private first class (French: Soldat de 1ère classe; Spanish: Soldado de primera) is a military rank held by junior enlisted personnel in many armed forces.

French speaking countries[edit]

In France and other French speaking countries, the rank Soldat de première classe (lit.'soldier of the first class'; transl. private first class) is used.


In Poland, the rank is called Starszy szeregowy (transl. Senior private).[1]


Introduced in 1983, the honorific rank is awarded to hardworking conscript citizen-soldiers who performed well in their National Service term. Private First Class (PFC) wear a rank insignia of a single chevron pointing down.[2]

The Private First Class (PFC) rank is rarely awarded nowadays by the Singapore Armed Forces. All private enlistees can be promoted directly to Lance Corporal (LCP) should they meet the minimum qualifying requirements, conduct appraisal and work performance.[3]

United States[edit]

United States Army[edit]

In the United States Army, recruits usually enter service as a private in pay grade E-1. Private (E-2), designated by a single chevron, is typically an automatic promotion after six months of service. Private first class (E-3), equivalent to NATO grade OR-3, is designated by a single chevron with one arc or "rocker," and is more common among soldiers who have served in the U.S. Army for one year or more. Soldiers who have achieved an associate degree or its equivalent are entitled to enter the Army at this pay grade.[4] Advancement from private first class is to specialist (E-4); advancement to corporal (also at the E-4 pay grade) requires that the soldier also complete the Basic Leader Course (BLC), the first course of study in a US Army noncommissioned officer's professional development course.[5] Thus, in order to qualify for leadership posts such as team leader, the soldier must have first served as a corporal; a team leader is nominally a sergeant (E-5).

The rank of private first class has existed since 1846[6] and, prior to 1919, its insignia consisted of the branch of service insignia without any arcs or chevrons. The Secretary of War approved "an arc of one bar" (i.e., a "rocker") under the branch of service or trade insignia for privates first class on 22 July 1919. From August 5, 1920, to May 28, 1968, the rank insignia for private first class was a single chevron, per War Department Circular No. 303. On May 28, 1968, the insignia was changed to its current form, consisting of a single chevron with one arc.[7]

United States Marine Corps[edit]

In the United States Marine Corps, the rank of private first class is the second lowest, just under lance corporal and just above Private, equivalent to NATO grade OR-2, being pay grade E-2. It was established on June 3, 1916, to match the already existing Army rank, primarily because US Marine units were "often called upon to serve" with US Army organizations, such as in the American Expeditionary Force that served in Europe during World War I (e.g. 4th Marine Brigade of the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division). At the time the two ranks were directly equivalent. However, the USMC rank of PFC is one grade lower (E-2) than the similarly titled US Army rank.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sposób noszenia odznak stopni wojskowych na umundurowaniu wojsk Lądowych i sił Powietrznych" (PDF). (in Polish). Armed Forces Support Inspectorate. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  2. ^ "MINDEF Singapore".
  3. ^ "MINDEF Singapore".
  4. ^ "Site Moved" (PDF).
  5. ^ Harm Venhuizen (7 Jun 2021) All soldiers must now serve as corporals before promotion to sergeant
  6. ^ "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  7. ^ United States Army Institute of Heraldry (2006). "History of Enlisted Ranks". United States Army. Archived from the original on December 31, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
  8. ^ Affairs, United States Congress House Committee on Naval; Padgett, Lemuel Phillips (1 January 1918). Hearings Before Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, on Estimates Submitted by the Secretary of the Navy, 1918. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 240 – via Internet Archive. secretary of the navy private first class 1918.
  9. ^ "LOI N° 2005-43 DU 26 JUIN 2006" (PDF). (in French). National Assembly (Benin). 26 June 2006. pp. 19–20, 35–36. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  10. ^ "LOI N° 037-2016/AN PORTANT CONDITIONS D'AVANCEMENT DES PERSONNELS D'ACTIVE DES FORCES ARMEES NATIONALES" (PDF) (in French). 2015. pp. 17–21. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  11. ^ "LOI N° 019-2015/CNT PORTANT STATUT GENERAL DES PERSONNELS DES FORCES ARMEES NATIONALES" (PDF) (in French). 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Loi organique N°1/ 04 du 20 février 2017 portant Missions, Organisation, Composition, Instruction, Conditions de service et Fonctionnement de la Force de Défense Nationale du Burundi" (PDF). (in French). Government of Burundi. p. 45. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Grades appellations distinctions". (in French). Ministry of National Defense (Republic of the Congo). Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Grados Militares". (in Spanish). Ministry of Defence (Guatemala). Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  15. ^ "GRADES / APPELLATIONS / DISTINCTIONS". (in French). Ministère de la Défense. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Defense Act of 2008" (PDF). 3 September 2008. p. 8. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  17. ^ "2011 - Plaquette sur les insignes et blasons des Forces Armées du Mali" (in French). 23 April 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  18. ^ Secretary of National Defense (27 June 2019). "Manual gráfico para el uso de Uniformes, Divisas y Equipo del Ejército y F.A.M." [Graphic manual for the use of Uniforms, Badges and Equipment of the Army and Air Force] (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  19. ^ Ehrenreich, Frederich (1985). "National Security". In Nelson, Harold D. (ed.). Morocco: a country study. Area Handbook (5th ed.). Washington, D.C. pp. 350–351. LCCN 85600265.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  20. ^ "Insignias de Grados Militares". (in Spanish). Nicaraguan Armed Forces. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  21. ^ Bureau international des droits des enfants (December 2012). "État des Lieux: Formation des forces de défense et de sécurité sur les droit de l'enfant au Niger" (PDF) (in French). p. 34. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Ranks and insignia". Philippine Army. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  23. ^ "SAF Rank Insignias". Ministry of Defence (Singapore). Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  24. ^ "Journal officiel de la république togolaise" (PDF) (in French). 12 February 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  25. ^ "Décret n° 72-380 du 6 décembre 1972, portant Statut particulier des militaires". (in French). Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance. 6 December 1972. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  26. ^ "U.S. Army Ranks". United States Army. Retrieved 27 May 2021.