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A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a
commission Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commission (art), the purchase or the creation of a piece of art most often on behalf of another ...
. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by promotion through the
enlisted rank An enlisted rank (also known as an enlisted grade or enlisted rate) is, in some armed services, any rank below that of a commissioned officer An officer is a member of an Military, armed forces or Uniformed services, uniformed service who hold ...
s. (Non-officers, which includes most or all enlisted personnel, are of lower
rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organization * Academic rank * Diplomatic rank * Hierarchy * Hi ...
than any officer.) In contrast, commissioned officers usually enter directly from a military academy, officer candidate school (OCS), or officer training school (OTS) after receiving a post-secondary degree. The NCO corps usually includes many grades of enlisted,
corporal Corporal is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, ...

corporal
and
sergeant Sergeant ( ; abbreviation, abbreviated to Sgt. and capitalized when used as a named person's title) is a Military rank, rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, ''serjeant'', is ...

sergeant
; in some countries,
warrant officer Warrant officer (WO) is a rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organization * Academic rank * ...
s also carry out the duties of NCOs. The naval equivalent includes some or all grades of
petty officer A Petty Officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by promotion t ...

petty officer
. There are different classes of non-commissioned officers, including junior non-commissioned officers (JNCO) and senior (or staff) non-commissioned officers (SNCO).


Function

The non-commissioned officer corps has been referred to as "the backbone" of the armed services, as they are the primary and most visible leaders for most military personnel. Additionally, they are the leaders primarily responsible for executing a military organization's mission and for training military personnel so they are prepared to execute their missions. NCO training and education typically includes leadership and management as well as service-specific and combat training. Senior NCOs are considered the primary link between enlisted personnel and the
commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically author ...
s in a military organization. Their advice and guidance are considered particularly important for junior officers and in many cases to officers of all senior ranks.


National usage


Australia

In the
Australian Army The Australian Army is the military land force of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the isla ...
,
lance corporal Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the ...

lance corporal
s and corporals are classified as junior NCOs (JNCOs), sergeants and staff sergeants (currently being phased out) are classified as senior NCOs (SNCOs) and warrant officer class two and warrant officer class one are classified as warrant officers (WOs). In the
New South Wales Police Force The New South Wales Police Force (NSW Police Force; previously the New South Wales Police Service and New South Wales Police) is the primary law enforcement agency of the state of New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a Sta ...
, NCOs perform supervisory and coordination roles. The ranks of probationary constable through to leading senior constable are referred to as "constables". All NCOs within the NSW Police are given a warrant of appointment under the Commissioner's hand and seal. All officers within the
Australian Defence Force Cadets The Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADFC) (Known as the Australian Service Cadet Scheme until 2001) consists of three Australian Defence Force affiliated community-based, youth development organisations of approximately 22,000 cadets and 2,200 ca ...
are non-commissioned. ADFC officers are appointed by the Director-General of their respective branch.


Brazil

In Brazil, a non-commissioned officer is called "Graduado" and includes the ranks from corporal to sub-lieutenant (or sub-officer in Brazilian Air Force), the latter being equivalent to warrant officers.


Canada

In the
Canadian Forces The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; french: Forces armées canadiennes; ''FAC'') is the unified military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare ...
, the Queen's Regulations and Orders formally defined a non-commissioned officer as "A Canadian Forces member holding the rank of Sergeant or Corporal." In the 1990s, the term "
non-commissioned memberA non-commissioned member (NCM), in the Canadian Armed Forces, is defined in the Queen's Regulations and Orders as: "... any person, other than an officer, who is enrolled in, or who pursuant to law is attached or seconded otherwise than as an off ...
" (NCM) was introduced to indicate all ranks in the Canadian Forces from recruit to chief warrant officer. By definition, with the unification of the Canadian Forces into one service, the rank of sergeant included the naval rank of
petty officer 2nd class Petty officer, 2nd class, {{sc} PO2, is a Naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...
, and corporal includes the naval rank of
leading seaman Leading seaman is a junior non-commissioned member, non-commissioned rank or rate in navy, navies, particularly those of the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth. When it is used by NATO nations, leading seaman has the rank code of OR-4. It is ...
; corporal also includes the appointment of master corporal (naval master seaman). NCOs are officially divided into two categories: junior non-commissioned officers, consisting of corporals/leading seamen and master corporals/master seamen; and senior non-commissioned officers, consisting of sergeants and petty officers 2nd class. In the
Royal Canadian Navy , march = "Heart of Oak The heart is a muscular organ in most animals, which pumps blood through the blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system that transport blood througho ...
, however, the accepted definition of "NCO" reflects the international use of the term (i.e. all grades of petty officer). Junior non-commissioned officers mess and billet with privates and seamen; their mess is usually referred to as the junior ranks mess. Conversely, senior non-commissioned officers mess and billet with
warrant officers Warrant officer (WO) is a rank or category of ranks in the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized ...

warrant officers
; their mess is normally referred to as the warrant officers and sergeants mess (army and air force establishments) or the chiefs and petty officers mess (naval establishments). As a group, NCOs rank above privates and below warrant officers. The term "non-commissioned members" includes these ranks.


Finland

In the
Finnish Defence Force The Finnish Defence Forces ( fi, Puolustusvoimat, sv, Försvarsmakten) are responsible for the defence of Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland , ), officially the Republic of Finland (, ), is a Nordic country located in Northern Eur ...
, NCO's (''aliupseeristo'') includes all ranks from corporal (''
alikersantti Alikersantti ( Undersergeant in Finnish) is the lowest Finnish non-commissioned officer military rank. Alikersantti is one rank above a Korpraali (Lance-Corporal Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by so ...
'', lit. sub-sergeant) to sergeant major (''sotilasmestari'', lit. soldier master). Ranks of lance corporal (''korpraali'') and leading seaman (''ylimatruusi'') are considered not to be NCO ranks. This ruling applies to all branches of service and also to the troops of the Border Guard.


France

In
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the ...

Belgium
and most former French colonies, the term ''sous-officier'' (meaning: "under officer" or "sub-officer") is a class of ranks between the rank-and-file (''hommes du rang'') and commissioned officers (''officiers''). Corporals (''caporal'' and ''caporal-chef'') belong to the rank-and-file. Sous-officiers include two subclasses: "subalternes" (sergents and sergents-chefs) and "supérieurs" (adjudants, adjudants-chefs and majors). "Sous-officiers supérieurs" can perform various functions within a regiment or battalion, including commanding a platoon or section.


Germany

In
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
and
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
-speaking countries like
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
, the term ''
Unteroffizier ''Unteroffizier'' is a military rank of the ''Bundeswehr The ''Bundeswehr'' (, meaning literally: ''Federal Defence'') is the unified armed forces of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin ...

Unteroffizier
'' (with the quite literal translation into English as "under"(unter) "officer"(offizier), thus "under officer", with both words being the progenitors of their English equivalents, and, in use, having the meaning of "lower officer" or ''sub-officer'') describes a class of ranks between normal enlisted personnel (''Mannschaften'' or in Austria ''Chargen'') and officers (''Offiziere''). In this group of ranks there are, in Germany, two other classes: ''
Unteroffiziere mit Portepee Unteroffizier(e) mit Portepee, also Portepeeunteroffizier(e) (English: "Non-commissioned officer(s) with Lanyard#Uniform_accessories, sword knot"), is the designation for German senior NCO in the armed forces of Germany. The name derives from earli ...
'' (with sword-knot) and ''
Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee Unteroffizier(e) ohne Portepee (en: NCO without portepee / ), is the designation for German junior non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usual ...
'' (without swordknot), both containing several ranks, which in Austria would be ''Unteroffiziere'' (NCOs) and ''Höhere Unteroffiziere'' (senior NCOs or literally translated as "higher under officers").


Ireland

In Ireland, the Irish Defence Forces have a professional body of non-commissioned officers from the ranks of Corporal (Cpl) (OR-4) to Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) (OF-9) in the Irish Army and Air Corps. In the Irish Naval Service the NCO ranks rise from Leading Hand or Leading Rate (OR-4) to Warrant Officer (OR-9). In Irish Naval Service parlance the rate or rating is the service members specialisation. Therefore, L/S refers to Leading Seaman, L/RRT refers to Leading Radio Radar Technician and so on. Further to the distinctions within the Irish Defence Forces you have Junior and Senior NCOs. Junior NCOs are Corporals and Sergeants, (OR-4 and OR-5), and Senior NCOs are Company Sergeant and Company Quartermaster Sergeants to Regimental Sergeant Majors and Regimental Quartermaster Sergeants (OR-7 to OR-9). In the Irish Naval Service, this is further complicated by having Junior and Senior Ratings. Junior ratings from Ordinary Rate (OR-1) to Leading Rate (OR-4), and Senior Ratings are from Petty Officer (OR-5) to Warrant Officer (OR-9). Therefore, it can occur that a person incorrectly describes themselves as a Senior NCO when in fact they mean a Senior Rating.


New Zealand

In the
New Zealand Defence Force New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of th ...
, a non-commissioned officer is defined as: :"(a) In relation to the
Navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized a ...
, a
rating A rating is an evaluation Evaluation is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is ...
of warrant officer,
chief petty officer A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by pr ...
, petty officer, or leading rank; and includes— ::(i) A non-commissioned officer of the
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch ...

Army
or the Air Force attached to the Navy; and ::(ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the Navy: : (b) In relation to the Army, a
soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the ...

soldier
above the rank of
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decades from the charts. Both "In Pri ...
but below the rank of
officer cadet#REDIRECT Officer cadet Officer cadet is a rank held by military cadets during their training to become commissioned officer An officer is a member of an Military, armed forces or Uniformed services, uniformed service who holds a position of ...
; and includes a warrant officer; and also includes— ::(i) A non-commissioned officer of the Navy or the Air Force attached to the Army; and ::(ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the Army: :(c) In relation to the Air Force, an
airman An airman is a member of an air force or air arm of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and ...
above the rank of
leading aircraftman Leading aircraftman (LAC) or leading aircraftwoman (LACW) is a junior rank in some air forces. It sits between aircraftman and senior aircraftman, and has a NATO rank code of OR-2. The rank badge is a horizontal two-bladed Propeller (aircraft) ...
but below the rank of officer cadet; and includes a warrant officer; and also includes— ::(i) A non-commissioned officer of the Navy or the Army attached to the Air Force; and ::(ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the Air Force:" – ''
Defence Act 1990 The Defence Act 1990 is an Act of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation, are texts of law passed by the Legislature, legislative body of a jurisdiction (often a parliament or council). In most countries, acts ...
, Sect 2 (Interpretation)''


Norway

On 1 January 2016, the
Norwegian Armed Forces The Norwegian Armed Forces ( no, Forsvaret, "The Defence") is the military organisation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national d ...
reintroduced non-commissioned officers in all service branches, having had a single rank tier since 1930, except for certain technical and maintenance units from 1945 to 1975. The NCOs are called specialists, and rank from
sergeant Sergeant ( ; abbreviation, abbreviated to Sgt. and capitalized when used as a named person's title) is a Military rank, rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, ''serjeant'', is ...

sergeant
to
sergeant major Sergeant major is a senior non-commissioned rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organiza ...

sergeant major
(
NATO ranks
NATO ranks
OR5–OR9). The Specialist Corps
lance corporal Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the ...

lance corporal
and
corporal Corporal is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, ...

corporal
ranks (OR2–OR4) are reserved for enlisted personnel, while the rank of
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decades from the charts. Both "In Pri ...
(OR1) is for conscripts only. The NCOs are in charge of military training, discipline, practical leadership, role modelling, unit standards and mentoring officers, especially juniors. Officers commanding
platoon A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads, sections, or patrols. Platoon organization varies depending on the country and the branch, but a platoon generally comprises 50 people, although specific platoons may ran ...
s and above are assigned a chief or master sergeant, which is the unit's highest ranking specialist, although chief and master sergeants are functions and not ranks in themselves. Norway took a top-down approach to establishing the Specialist Corps. Since August 2015, volunteer
commissioned officers An officer is a member of an armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a soverei ...
have converted into sergeant majors, command sergeants and first sergeants.


Singapore

In the
Singapore Armed Forces The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is the military component of the Ministry of Defence (Singapore), Ministry of Defence of the Singapore, Republic of Singapore as part of the city-state's Total Defence strategy. The SAF has three services: the S ...
, the term "non-commissioned officer" is no longer officially used, being replaced with Specialist for all ranks from 3rd Sergeant to Master Sergeant (Staff and Master Sergeants are known as Senior Specialists). The term used to address Warrant Officers and Specialists combined is "WOSpec". The term "NCO" however is still frequently used unofficially in the army.


Sweden

In 1983 the NCO corps, since 1972 called the ''Platoon Officer Corps'', was disbanded and its members were given commissions as officers in ranks of second or first lieutenant in Sweden's new one-tier military leadership system. In 2009 a similar system as the NCO corps was re-established, called "specialist officers". Direct recruitment from civilian life is followed by basic and preparatory leadership training, and advanced leadership training during 1.5 year as a specialist cadet at the military academy in
Halmstad Halmstad () is a port, university, industrial and recreational urban areas of Sweden, city at the mouth of the Nissan (river), Nissan river, in the provinces of Sweden, province of Halland on the Sweden, Swedish west coast. Halmstad is the seat ...

Halmstad
, a warrant as an OR-6, followed by specialist technical training. Swedish specialist officers have relative ranks that match those of the commissioned officers; an OR-7 takes precedence over a
second lieutenant Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
, for instance.


Turkey

Non-commissioned officer is the rank belonging to the enlisted class below the officer in the military hierarchy. Military persons who are assigned as an assistant to the officer in training, administration and administration and other administrative tasks at the subordinate command levels of the Land, Naval and Air Forces of the Army of the Republic of Turkey, and the Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command are called non-commissioned officers.


United Kingdom

In the
British Armed Forces The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom ...
, NCOs are divided into two categories.
Lance corporal Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the ...

Lance corporal
s (including
lance bombardier cavalry attacks the Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Saxon shield wall at the Battle of Hastings as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. The lances are held with a one-handed over-the-head grip. A lance is a pole weapon designed to be used by a mounted warrior o ...
s) and corporals (including lance sergeants, bombardiers, and lance corporals of horse) are junior NCOs. Sergeants (including corporals of horse),
staff sergeant Staff sergeant is a Military rank, rank of non-commissioned officer used in the armed forces of many countries. It is also a police rank in some police services. History of title In origin, certain senior sergeants were assigned to administr ...

staff sergeant
s (including
colour sergeant Colour sergeant or color sergeant (CSgt or C/Sgt) is a rank of non-commissioned officer found in several armies and marine corps. Canada Colour sergeant is a rank in the Foot Guards regiments of the Canadian Forces, specifically the Governor Gene ...

colour sergeant
s and staff corporals), and RAF chief technicians and
flight sergeant Flight sergeant (commonly abbreviated to Flt Sgt, F/Sgt, FSGT or, currently correctly in the RAF, FS) is a senior non-commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's Air force, air and space for ...
s are senior NCOs. Warrant officers are often included in the senior NCO category, but actually form a separate class of their own, similar in many ways to NCOs but with a royal warrant. Senior NCOs and WOs have their own messes, which are similar to officers' messes (and are usually known as sergeants' messes), whereas junior NCOs live and eat with the unranked personnel, although they may have a separate corporals' club to give them some separate socialising space. The
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
does not refer to its petty officers and chief petty officers as NCOs, but calls them senior ratings (or senior rates).
Leading rating : Leading rating (or leading rate) is the most senior of the junior rates in the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medi ...
s and below are junior ratings.


United States

In the
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branc ...
,
Air Force
Air Force
, and
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (reflecting the natu ...
, all ranks of sergeant are termed NCOs, as are corporals in the Army and Marine Corps. The Marine Corps rank of lance corporal (E-3) is not an NCO, but rather a junior enlisted rank directly below corporal. The rank of corporal (E-4) in the Army and Marine Corps is a junior NCO, and is to be shown the same respect as any other NCO. However the rank of Specialist in the US Army, also with an E-4 pay grade, is not authorized to command troops and as such is not considered an NCO. In the Air Force, E-5 (staff sergeant) and E-6 (technical sergeant) are classified under the NCO tier, while E-7 (master sergeant), E-8 (senior master sergeant), and E-9 (chief master sergeant) are considered senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs). In the
Navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...
and
Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes ...
, all ranks of
petty officer A Petty Officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by promotion t ...

petty officer
are so designated. Junior NCOs (E-4 through E-6 grade), or simply "NCOs" (E-4 and E-5 only) in Marine Corps usage, function as first-tier supervisors and technical leaders. NCOs serving in the top three enlisted grades (E-7, E-8, and E-9) are termed senior non-commissioned officers (
chief petty officer A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by pr ...
s in the Navy and Coast Guard). Senior NCOs are expected to exercise leadership at a more general level. They lead larger groups of service members, mentor junior officers, and advise senior officers on matters pertaining to their areas of responsibility. Within the Marine Corps, senior NCOs are referred to as staff noncommissioned officers (SNCOs) and also include the rank of
staff sergeant Staff sergeant is a Military rank, rank of non-commissioned officer used in the armed forces of many countries. It is also a police rank in some police services. History of title In origin, certain senior sergeants were assigned to administr ...

staff sergeant
(E-6). SNCOs are those career Marines serving in grades E-6 through E-9 and serve as unit leaders and supervisors, primary assistants and technical advisors to officers, and senior enlisted advisors to commanding officers, commanding generals, and other higher-level commanders. The ranks include staff sergeant,
gunnery sergeant Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) is the seventh enlisted rank An enlisted rank (also known as an enlisted grade or enlisted rate) is in some armed services, any rank below that of a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer. The term can be inclusi ...
(E-7),
master sergeant
master sergeant
/
first sergeant First sergeant is typically a senior non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the ...
(E-8), and
master gunnery sergeant Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGySgt) is the 9th and highest enlisted grade in the United States Marine Corps. Master Gunnery Sergeants are Non-commissioned officer#United States, senior staff non-commissioned officers (SNCOs) with the U.S. military pa ...
/
sergeant major Sergeant major is a senior non-commissioned rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organiza ...
(E-9). The title of ''superintendent'' is used by the Air Force as the title of the
non-commissioned officer in charge The designation Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, usually abbreviated to NCOIC (or NCO I/C), signifies an individual in the enlisted ranks of a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organi ...
(NCOIC) of a section, flight, squadron, group, staff agency, directorate, or similar organization. These positions are assigned to senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs), as opposed to the titles "NCOIC" and "chief" (which are held by junior NCOs). The titles of ''commander'' and ''director'' are used for
commissioned officers An officer is a member of an armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a soverei ...
assigned as
commanding officer The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a general officer A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infantry, are typ ...
of a unit or the head of a staff agency, directorate, or similar organization, respectively. A select few senior NCOs in paygrade E-9 serve as "senior enlisted advisors" to senior commanders in each service (e.g., major command, fleet, force, etc.) and in DoD unified commands, e.g.,
United States Strategic Command United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of the eleven unified combatant commands in the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal executive depa ...
,
United States European Command The United States European Command (EUCOM) is one of the eleven unified combatant commands of the United States military, headquartered in Stuttgart of the Old Castle (Stuttgart), Old Castle Stuttgart (; Swabian German, Swabian: ...
,
United States Pacific Command United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) is a unified combatant command of the United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the United S ...

United States Pacific Command
, etc., and DoD agencies, e.g. the
Defense Information Systems Agency The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), known as the Defense Communications Agency (DCA) until 1991, is a United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal exec ...
,
Defense Intelligence Agency The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is an of the , specializing in defense and . A component of the (DoD) and the (IC), DIA informs national civilian and defense policymakers about the military intentions and capabilities of foreign govern ...
and the
National Security Agency The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, ...

National Security Agency
. One senior E-9, selected by the service chief of staff, is the ranking NCO/PO in that service, holds the highest enlisted rank for that service, and is responsible for advising their service secretary and chief of staff. One E-9 holds a similar position as the SEA to the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the presiding officer of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is the body of the most senior uniformed leaders within the United States Department of D ...
. Senior enlisted advisors, service enlisted advisors and the SEA to the Chairman (SEAC) advise senior officer and civilian leaders on all issues affecting operational missions and the readiness, utilization, morale, technical and professional development, and quality of life of the enlisted force.
Warrant officers Warrant officer (WO) is a rank or category of ranks in the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized ...
in the
United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military forces of the United States of America. The armed forces consists of six Military branch, service branches: the United States Army, Army, United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps, Uni ...
are considered specialty officers and fall in between enlisted and commissioned officers. US warrant officers also have their own tier and paygrade. However, when US warrant officers achieve the rank of chief warrant officer (CWO2) or higher, they are commissioned10 U.S. Code § 571. Warrant officers: grades
/ref> and are considered commissioned US officers just like any other commissioned officer, but are still held in a different paygrade tier.


U.S. Army NCO Candidate Course

Beginning in 1967 at Fort Benning, Georgia, the
US Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture ...

US Army
Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course (NCOC) was a
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
-war era program developed to alleviate shortages of enlisted leaders at squad and platoon level assignments, training enlisted personnel to assume jobs as squad leaders in combat. Based loosely on the (OCS), NCOC was a new concept (at the time) where high performing trainees attending basic infantry combat training were nominated to attend a two-phased course of focused instruction on jungle warfare, and included a hands-on portion of intense training, promotion to sergeant, and then a 12-week assignment leading trainees going through advanced training. Regular Army soldiers who had received their promotion through traditional methods (and others) used derisive terms for these draftees (typically)Dan Elder, Shake and Bake: The True Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course
pgs.7,14–15 PDF
who were promoted quicker, such as "Instant NCOs", " Shake 'n' Bake", and "Whip n' Chills". The program proved to be so successful that as the war began to wind down they elected to institutionalize training noncommissioned officers and created the NCO Education System (NCOES), which was based around the NCO candidate course. The NCO candidate course generally ended 1971–1972.


U.S. Navy Accelerated Advancement

Within the U.S. Navy there are different ways that a sailor can earn accelerated advancement to the rank of petty officer third class. If a person tests high enough on their entrance exam they are able to select certain jobs that require a significant amount of training, far greater than the amount required for a basic job (12 months vs. 2 weeks). Because these jobs are more technically advanced, the schools have higher attrition rates, demand more responsibility, and require longer initial enlistments, these sailors are able to advance to petty officer third class. Another way for a sailor to earn accelerated advancement is by graduating in the top 10% of their class within their "A" school. For certain ratings, such as Corpsman, this has been discontinued.


See also

*
Comparative military ranks In general linguistics, the comparative is a syntactic construction that serves to express a comparison between two (or more) entities or groups of entities in quality or degree - see also comparison (grammar) Comparison is a feature in the morp ...
*
Military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchy, hierarchical relationships, within an armed forces, police, intelligence agencies or other institutions organized along military lines. The military rank system defines dominance, authority, and respon ...
s *
Noncommissioned officer's creed The U.S. Army Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer, otherwise known as the Noncommissioned Officer's Creed, and commonly shortened to the NCO creed, is a tool used in the United States Army to educate and remind enlisted leaders of their responsibil ...


References


External links


The Center for Advanced Studies of the U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer (United States)

A Short History of the NCO (United States)



Educating Noncommissioned Officers: The history (United States)

The United States Army Non-Commissioned officer's guide Field Manual FM7-22.7 (United States)
{{DEFAULTSORT:Non-Commissioned Officer Military life Military ranks