United States Marine Corps rank insignia

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Various Marine and Navy rank insignia (as well as other devices) left at the summit of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

This is a list of rank insignia of the United States Marine Corps (the maritime land forces of the United States of America). Different styles of rank insignia are worn on different marine uniforms.

Commissioned officers, which are distinguished from other officers by their commission, or formal written authority, have ranks that are subdivided into general officers, field-grade officers, and company-grade officers.

Warrant Officers provide leadership and training in specialized fields and skills. A chief warrant officer, CWO2–CWO5, carries a special title, "Marine Gunner," which does not replace his rank. Other warrant officers are sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Gunner".

Enlisted Marines with paygrades of E-4 and E-5 are non-commissioned officers (NCOs) while those at E-6 and higher are Staff Noncommissioned Officers (SNCOs). The E-8 and E-9 levels each have two ranks per pay grade, each with different responsibilities. Gunnery Sergeants (E-7) indicate on their annual evaluations (called "fitness reports") their preferred promotional track: Master Sergeant or First Sergeant.

Commissioned officers[edit]

Commissioned officers are distinguished from other officers by their commission, which is the formal written authority, issued in the name of the President of the United States, that confers the rank and authority of a Marine Officer. Commissioned officers carry the "special trust and confidence" of the President of the United States.[1] Commissioned officer ranks are further subdivided into general officers, field-grade officers, and company-grade officers. The highest billets in the Marine Corps, the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps are, by statute, four-star ranks, as the Marine Corps is a separate naval service under the Department of the Navy.[2]

US DoD
pay grade
O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
NATO code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Insignia US-O10 insignia.svg US-O9 insignia.svg US-O8 insignia.svg US-O7 insignia.svg US-O6 insignia.svg US-O5 insignia.svg US-O4 insignia.svg US-O3 insignia.svg US-O2 insignia.svg US-O1 insignia.svg
Service Uniform Insignia US Marine 10 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O9 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O8 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O7 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O6 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O5 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O4 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O3 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O2 shoulderboard vertical.svg US Marine O1 shoulderboard vertical.svg
Title General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier general Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain First lieutenant Second lieutenant
Abbreviation Gen LtGen MajGen BGen Col LtCol Maj Capt 1stLt 2ndLt

Warrant officers[edit]

Warrant Officers provide leadership and training in specialized fields and skills. Unlike other nations' militaries (which rank warrant officers as Staff NCO equivalents), the United States military confers warrants and commissions on its warrant officers and classifies them into a separate category senior to all enlisted grades of rank (including officer candidates), cadets, and midshipmen. As warrant officers are officer-level technical specialists they generally do not exercise command outside of their specialty. Warrant officers come primarily from the staff non-commissioned officer (SNCO) ranks.

A chief warrant officer, CWO2–CWO5, serving in the MOS 0306 "Infantry Weapons Officer" carries a special title, "Marine Gunner," which does not replace his rank. A Marine Gunner replaces the chief warrant officer insignia on the left collar with a bursting bomb insignia. Other warrant officers are sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Gunner".

US DoD pay grade Marine Gunner
Insignia
W-5 W-4 W-3 W-2 W-1
NATO code WO-5 WO-4 WO-3 WO-2 WO-1
Insignia USMC CWO Gunner (Dress).png USMC CWO5.svg USMC CWO4.svg USMC CWO3.svg USMC CWO2.svg USMC WO1.svg
Title
Chief warrant officer 5 Chief warrant officer 4 Chief warrant officer 3 Chief warrant officer 2 Warrant officer 1
Abbreviation CWO5 CWO4 CWO3 CWO2 WO

Timeline of warrant officer rank changes[edit]

NATO rank WO-5 WO-4 WO-3 WO-2 WO-1
 United States Marine Corps
(-1949)
USMC WW2 CWO Rank Insignia.svg USMC WW2 WO Rank Insignia.svg
Commissioned Warrant Officer Warrant Officer
 United States Marine Corps
(1949-1954)
USMC CWO4.svg USMC CWO3.svg USMC CWO2.svg USMC WO1.svg
Commissioned Warrant Officer 4 Commissioned Warrant Officer 3 Commissioned Warrant Officer 2 Warrant Officer 1
 United States Marine Corps
(1954-1992)
USMC CWO4.svg USMC CWO3.svg USMC CWO2.svg USMC WO1.svg
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Warrant Officer 1
 United States Marine Corps
USMC CWO5.svg USMC CWO4.svg USMC CWO3.svg USMC CWO2.svg USMC WO1.svg
Chief warrant officer 5 Chief warrant officer 4 Chief warrant officer 3 Chief warrant officer 2 Warrant Officer 1
NATO rank WO-5 WO-4 WO-3 WO-2 WO-1

Enlisted[edit]

Enlisted Marines with paygrades of E-4 and E-5 are non-commissioned officers (NCOs) while those at E-6 and higher are Staff Noncommissioned Officers (SNCOs).[3] The E-8 and E-9 levels each have two ranks per pay grade, each with different responsibilities. Gunnery Sergeants (E-7) indicate on their annual evaluations (called "fitness reports") their preferred promotional track: Master Sergeant or First Sergeant. The First Sergeant and Sergeant Major ranks are command-oriented Senior Enlisted Advisors, with Marines of these ranks serving as the senior enlisted Marines in a unit, charged to assist the commanding officer in matters of discipline, administration, and the morale and welfare of the unit. Master Sergeants and Master Gunnery Sergeants provide technical leadership as occupational specialists in their specific MOS. First Sergeants typically serve as the senior enlisted Marine in a company, battery, or other unit at similar echelon, while Sergeants Major serve the same role in battalions, squadrons, or larger units.[4]

The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is a billet and with it carries a special rank insignia, conferred on the senior enlisted Marine of the entire Marine Corps, personally selected by the Commandant of the Marine Corps.[5] It and the Marine Gunner are the only billets which rate modified rank insignia in place of the traditional rank insignia.[citation needed]

US DoD
pay grade
E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1
NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Dress uniform insignia
USMC-E9-SEAC.svg
USMC-E9-SGMMC.svg
USMC-E9-SGM.svg
USMC-E9-MGyS.svg
USMC-E8-1SG.svg
USMC-E8-MSG.svg
USMC-E7.svg
USMC-E6.svg
USMC-E5.svg
USMC-E4.svg
USMC-E3.svg
USMC-E2.svg

No insignia


Service uniform insignia
USMC-E9-SGMMC (Service).svg USMC-E9-SGM (Service).svg USMC-E9-MGyS (Service).svg USMC-E8-1SG (Service).svg USMC-E8-MSG (Service).svg USMC-E7 (Service).svg USMC-E6 (Service).svg USMC-E5 (Service).svg USMC-E4 (Service).svg USMC-E3 (Service).svg USMC-E2 (Service).svg
Title Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sergeant Major Master Gunnery Sergeant First Sergeant Master Sergeant Gunnery Sergeant Staff Sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance Corporal Private First Class Private
Abbreviation SEAC SMMC SgtMaj MGySgt 1stSgt MSgt GySgt SSgt Sgt Cpl LCpl PFC Pvt

Different styles of rank insignia are worn on different Marine uniforms:

L to R: Evening Dress coat, Dress Blue coat, Service Dress coat, Service Dress "B" and "C" shirt, and combat utility pin-on insignia for a Staff Sergeant

Gold stripes on a red flash are worn on the Dress Blue uniform coat. Green stripes on a red flash are worn on the Service uniform coat. Rank insignia are worn on the upper sleeve of both coats. Khaki uniform shirts use green stripes on a khaki flash, and are worn on the upper sleeves of both long and short-sleeved shirts. Utility uniform rank insignia are black metal pins and are worn on the collars, or black embroidered insignia sewn into patches of material when wearing armor. Musicians in the United States Marine Band wear insignia with lyre in the center as opposed to the crossed rifles, to denote their lack of a combat mission; full-service Marines who are attached to the 10 field bands of the Operating Forces and Supporting Establishment continue to wear their normal rank insignia.[6] The crossed M1 rifles insignia were added to E-3 through E-8 chevrons in 1959.

Timeline of enlisted rank changes[edit]

Uniformed services pay grade E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1
Pre-1918 USMC-MSG 1954.svg USMC-TSG 1954.svg USMC-SSG 1954.svg USMC-SGT 1918.svg USMC-CPL 1918.svg USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Sergeant major Technical sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private
1920s-1930s USMC-MSG 1954.svg USMC-TSG 1954.svg USMC-SSG 1954.svg USMC-SGT 1918.svg USMC-CPL 1918.svg Right-sleeve only
USMC-CPL 1918.svg
USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Sergeant major Technical sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private first class Private
1941-1943 USMC-MSG 1954.svg USMC-MTS 1941.svg USMC-TSG 1954.svg USMC-TSG 1941.svg USMC-SSG 1954.svg USMC-SSG 1941.svg USMC-SGT 1918.svg USMC-CPL 1918.svg USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Sergeant major/
Master gunnery sergeant
Master technical sergeant First sergeant/
Gunnery sergeant
Technical sergeant Platoon sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private first class Private
1943-1944 USMC-MSG 1954.svg USMC-MTS 1941.svg USMC-TSG 1954.svg USMC-TSG 1941.svg USMC-SSG 1954.svg USMC-SSG 1941.svg USMC-SGT 1918.svg USMC-CPL 1918.svg USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Sergeant major/
Master gunnery sergeant/
First sergeant
Master technical sergeant Gunnery sergeant Technical sergeant Platoon sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private first class Private
1944-1945
USMC-MSG 1954.svg USMC-E8-1SG.svg USMC-MTS 1941.svg
Sergeant major/
Master gunnery sergeant
First sergeant Master technical sergeant
USMC-TSG 1954.svg USMC-TSG 1941.svg USMC-SSG 1954.svg USMC-SSG 1941.svg USMC-SGT 1918.svg USMC-CPL 1918.svg USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Gunnery sergeant Technical sergeant Platoon sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private first class Private
1946-1959
USMC-SGM 1954.svg USMC-E8-1SG.svg USMC-MSG 1954.svg
Sergeant major First sergeant Master sergeant
USMC-TSG 1954.svg USMC-SSG 1954.svg USMC-SGT 1918.svg USMC-CPL 1918.svg USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Technical sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Private first class Private
1959-2020 USMC-E9-SGMMC.svg USMC-E9-SGM.svg USMC-E9-MGyS.svg USMC-E8-1SG.svg USMC-E8-MSG.svg USMC-E7.svg USMC-E6.svg USMC-E5.svg USMC-E4.svg USMC-E3.svg USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sergeant major Master gunnery sergeant First sergeant Master sergeant Gunnery sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private first class Private
2020-Present USMC-E9-SEAC.svg USMC-E9-SGMMC.svg USMC-E9-SGM.svg USMC-E9-MGyS.svg USMC-E8-1SG.svg USMC-E8-MSG.svg USMC-E7.svg USMC-E6.svg USMC-E5.svg USMC-E4.svg USMC-E3.svg USMC-E2.svg No insignia
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sergeant major Master gunnery sergeant First sergeant Master sergeant Gunnery sergeant Staff sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal Private first class Private
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Estes, Kenneth W. (2000). The Marine Officer's Guide, 6th Edition. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-567-5.
  2. ^ 10 U.S.C. § 5043 & 10 U.S.C. § 5044: Commandant of the Marine Corps & Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
  3. ^ "Marine Corps Ranks". United States Marine Corps website. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  4. ^ http://work.chron.com/sergeant-major-jobs-descriptions-21426.html. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps". Marine Corps Legacy Museum. Archived from the original on 2003-04-22. Retrieved 2006-10-04.
  6. ^ "Chapter 6: Musical Units". Marine Corps Uniform Regulations. Marine Corps Systems Command. Retrieved 31 December 2011.

General sources[edit]

External links[edit]