Talk:First sergeant

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Marine Corps[edit]

Needs a separate section detailing the rank in the U.S. Marine Corps, where it is not a billet. Fox1 20:49, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, yes it is both a billet, and a grade of rank; every company or battery has a TO billet for a First Sergeant, the prescribed rank for the position is, of course, first sergeant. CobraDragoon (talk) 17:13, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
I served in the USMC'87-'92, and the top ranking NCO was always referred to as "Top." Might be a 1stSGT, might be a Master Guns. No Idea why this isn't reflected in the USMC section. O0drogue0o (talk) 19:05, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

The origin of "TOP" was as an acronym for Trainer Of Personnel. This is a nickname for USMC MSgts, today. In the past, a 1stSgt MGySgt, or SgtMaj may have accepted that name. Today any of those three will generally not be very receptive of being called Top. In fact, most will provide a very unpleasant, on-the-spot counseling, for those who do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


I've never heard of a First Sergeant being called Top or anything like that. I have heard mention of calling the First Sergeant in the Marines, though, "Top" or "Top Shirt". D. F. Schmidt 03:50, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

In reference to the above statement; I have been in the Army a number of years and in every company I have served with Soldiers and NCO's call the 1SG "top". I do know that the term "top" is derived from the Marine Corp and some 1SG's do not liked to be called it. But for the most part, at least in the Combat Arms community, the 1SG is called "top".

What I do want to know is; How is the transformation of the Army affecting the duties and responsiblities of the 1SG on the modern battlefield. I currently have a 1SG that has deligated all of his responsiblities off onto the executive officer and two other sergeant first classes in his headquarters platoon. All he does now is PCC/PCI the headquarters platoon patrol section, which is nothing more then the commander's personal security detachment, and acts as patrol leader. It is not uncommon in my company for the commander, 1SG, and headquarters platoon sergeant to be on the streets of Baghdad together while everyone else worries about NCOERs, awards, and LOGPAC. Am I wrong for thinking that this isn't right?

I have another question to add concerning 1SG. Once removed from the 1SG position and reverted back to MSG, is it right for Soldiers to still call that former 1SG "Top"? And yes that 1SG should be ensuring that those NCOERs and awards are being taken care of. Their whole job is to take care of the troops. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

So 1SG is both an appointment and a substantitve rank? A SFC or MSG can be appointed First Sergeant, while someone holding the rank of First Sergeant is also appointed to the position of First Sergeant? User 070 (talk) 17:46, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

1SG is the top enlisted position in a company. A SFC/E-7 can be appointed to the position, and exercise the authority therein, but will not actually wear the rank of 1SG/E-8. A MSG/E-8 appointed to a 1SG position may wear the 1SG rank if they have earned the M-identifier in their MOS by first attending the 1SG Course at an accredited NCO Academy. If they have not graduated from the course, they are not authorized to wear the little diamond (called a lozenge) located between the chevrons and the rocker in the 1SG rank insignia.
So, first sergeant is primarily an appointed position, but also a substantive rank for those senior NCOs who meet the requirements and are serving in a valid first sergeant position. --AzureCitizen (talk) 20:43, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

The following relates to the U.S. Army. A Soldier doesn't have to attend the 1SG Course to be eligible to wear the diamond. The Soldier only has to be a MSG assigned to a 1SG slot, or an E-7 promotable in a 1SG slot who's command has requested that he be frocked. The 1SG Course is nice to have but it has nothing to do with wearing the rank. The "M" also does not have to be earned by attending the 1SG Course. It can be awarded by the Soldier's battalion commander. The only time 1SG is close to a permanent rank is if the Soldier retires while assigned to a 1SG position. Then the Soldier sort of stays a 1SG for some paperwork purposes because that was the last rank they held before retirement. Some documents might still list the individual as a MSG, though.-- (talk) 22:02, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

After being associated with the military for around 30 years, both directly and indirectly, I have never heard of a 1SG ever referred to as a "Second Hat." "Number 2" or 2IC is a particularly Naval (mostly Royal Navy and related units) reference to the Second In Command. DocKrin (talk) 00:47, 11 January 2010 (UTC) DocKrin (talk) 00:47, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

U.S. Army 1SG Course[edit]

Is it necessary or useful to have a whole course outline within an article that is about the rank not the course? Unless someone offers a reason not to, I propose removal of the course-related information. Highspeed (talk) 16:12, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

No opposition registered. Done Highspeed (talk) 15:06, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Swedish 1SG[edit]

This may appear way wrong, but it reflects the view of the Swedish Armed Forces, not my own. --Malin Randstrom (talk) 16:43, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

First Shirt??[edit]

Shouldnt the First shirt page be a subcategory on this page instead of having its own page? (talk) 05:00, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd propose a redirect from the First Shirt page to a section of this page with the same info. Sf46 (talk) 03:02, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

agree with the above. added reference to 'first shirt' as an interim step. DocKrin (talk) 00:43, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

United States Army — Uncited commentary/opinion on the duties and qualifications of modern incumbants[edit]

(Moved below paragraph, verbatim, from the article as inappropriate encyclopedic content. Should anyone have the capability to cite a valid, reliable,verifiable, documentable, source for any of the below anecdotal/personal comments, then by all means proceed and the Wikipedia community will evaluate it accordingly. Thank you.)

It is often said that a commanding officer commands a company-level unit, but a first sergeant "runs" it. (You can tell a first sergeant wrote this, because he has no idea what goes on in any MOS, that is intelligence based) Many units are directly impacted by the strength of the first sergeant. Some Army National Guard first sergeants remained in their state guard under Title 32 USC until just shy of their 62nd birthday, and would stay in one company-level unit for decades, thus having more years in the first sergeant position than the age of a new captain or first lieutenant commanding officer. This scenario, often fondly referred to by Guard troops as "Top For Life" or "TFL", for long-serving guard first sergeants, became more rare since the mass federal combat deployments and call-ups beginning in the Gulf War era, when most states adopted some type of a statewide guard promotion system vs. internal unit promotions in the National Guards. This caused most leadership positions to rotate more frequently, limiting the tenure of most first sergeants.

(Above section created by, and referenced paragraph moved by:CobraDragoon (talk) 00:52, 29 July 2017 (UTC))