- First Sergeant
First Sergeant is the name of a military rank used in some countries.
First Sergeant is a Specialist rank in the
Singapore Armed Forces. First Sergeants are the most senior of the junior Specialists, ranking above Second Sergeants, and below Staff Sergeants. The rank insignia for a First Sergeant features the three chevrons pointing down shared by all Specialists, and two chevrons pointing up.
In combat units, First Sergeants are often given the responsibility for independently-operating detachments of support weapons. They are often given instructional billets as well.
In the United States, First Sergeant is the title given to holders of certain ranks and positions within the
United States Armed Forces. While the specifics of the title may differ between the United States Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, all First Sergeants are non-commissioned officers and can be identified by the presence of a "French lozenge" (diamond shaped figure of four equal sides) on their rank insignia.
United States Army
United States Army, the rank of First Sergeant is above the rank of Sergeant First Class, below the rank of Sergeant Major, and shares the paygrade of E-8 with Master Sergeant; the rank is abbreviated as 1SG. Master Sergeants are laterally promoted to First Sergeant upon selection by the senior leadership at Battalion or higher depending on the location of the company in the Army Organizational Table. Upon reassignment to a non-First Sergeant billet, the soldier reverts back to their original rank of Master Sergeant. First Sergeants are generally the senior non-commissioned officers of company (battery, troop) sized units, and are unofficially but commonly referred to as "Top", "Top Kick", or "Top Hat", due to their seniority and their position at the top of the company's enlistedranks. They are also sometimes referred to as "Second Hat," in recognition that even though a company includes several lieutenants, it is more often the First Sergeant that the Company Commanderwill turn to when entrusting important responsibilities
First Sergeants handle the leadership and training of their Non-Commissioned officers, manage the promotable soldiers within the company, and are the first step in an Article 15 (Non-Judicial Punishment) proceeding, as well as have a host of other responsibilities.
A First Sergeant holding or temporarily filling the position of Sergeant Major will be referred to as "Sergeant Major"
American Civil War
The rank was used by both the
Union Armyand the Confederate Armyduring the American Civil War. The same rank insignia was used by both armies. Both armies varied the color of the stripes by assigning red for artillery, yellow for cavalry, and blue for infantry. Some Confederate militia units varied these colors even further and had other colors including black stripes for various units. The rank was just below Ordnance Sergeantand just above Sergeant.
United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps, First Sergeant is one level below Sergeant Majorand Master Gunnery Sergeantand is the next rank above Gunnery Sergeant. It is equal in grade to Master Sergeant, although the two ranks have different responsibilities. First Sergeant have a command responsibility while Master Sergeants have technical responsibilities. Unlike the First Sergeant and Master Sergeant programs in the U.S. Army, no lateral movement is possible between the two ranks in the Marine Corps. In their annual performance evaluations, called "fitness reports," eligible Gunnery Sergeants indicate whether they wish to be considered for promotion to Master Sergeantor First Sergeant. A First Sergeant is then eligible to be promoted to a Sergeant Majorwhile a Master Sergeant would be on the promotional track for Master Gunnery Sergeant.
United States Air ForceIn the
E-7 First Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force
E-8 First Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force
E-9 First Sergeant insignia
U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force, First Sergeant is not a rank, but a special duty held by a senior enlisted member of a military unit who reports directly to the unit commander. This billet is held by individuals of paygrades E-7 through E-9 ( Master Sergeant, Senior Master Sergeantand Chief Master Sergeant), and is denoted on the rank insignia by a French lozenge, but is more often called a diamond device. Often referred to as the ' first shirt', or 'shirt', the First Sergeant is responsible for the morale, welfare, and conduct of all the enlisted members in a squadronand is the chief adviser to the squadron commander concerning the enlisted force. Most units have a Master Sergeant in this position, while larger units use Senior Master Sergeants and Chief Master Sergeants as First Sergeants.First Sergeant is also a cadet position held by a senior grade NCO at the squadron level in the Civil Air Patrol(USAF Auxiliary). In keeping with USAF procedures the position of First Sergeant is also used in both Reserve Officer Training Corps(ROTC) and Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps(JROTC). They perform the same function as in the USAF but to a less significant degree. In cadet programs, First Sergeants assist with drill procedures, morale control and report on squadron status.
* [http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/rank3.shtml U.S. Army Enlisted Rank Insignia - Criteria, Background, and Images]
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