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  • Chain of Command

    I was wondering is this chain of command accurate.

    —Generals

    · General of the Army (Five-Star)

    · General (Four-Star) (GEN)

    · Lieutenant General (LTG)

    · Major General (MG) Commands a division of 10-15,000. 2 silver stars

    · Brigadier General (BG) 1 star



    —Officers

    · Colonel (COL) Silver Spread Eagle

    · Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Commands a battalion of 300-1000. Silver oak leaf

    · Major (MAJ) Gold oak leaf

    · Captain (CPT) Two silver bars

    · 1st Lieutenant (1LT) One silver bars Commands platoons or companies

    · 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) 1 gold bar



    —Enlisted

    · Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA)

    · Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Carries out policies and standards of the performance, training, appearance and conduct for enlisted personnel.

    · Sergeant Major (SGM) Key enlisted member at levels higher than battalion.

    · First Sergeant (1SG) Hold formations, instructs platoon sergeants, advises the commander, assists in training of all enlisted members.

    · Master Sergeant (MSG) Serves as the principal non-commissioned officer at battalion & often higher levels.

    · Sergeant First Class (SFC) 1st level at which the term “senior NCO” properly applies with candidates generally having at least 15 years of military experience.

    · Staff Sergeant (SSG) A more experienced leader of soldiers with considerably more time in the Army than the sergeant.

    · Sergeant (SGT)

    · Corporal (CPL) Lowest grade of non-commissioned officer; often commands a squad.

    · Private First Class (PFC)

    · Private (PV) Lowest rank of enlisted men. Also known as “buck” private.


    Sorry if this is not in the right place.
    In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes
    - Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman, author, and scientist

  • #2
    Well Chain of Command refers to position (based on rank) if you are a private, not every officer is in your chain of command. And (in the US Army anyways) NCOs are not part of the chain of command, as they don't technically have command. It is called the NCO Support Channel.

    A normal Chain of command for a say - infantryman would be:

    President
    SECDEF
    Sec of the Army
    Major Command (IE 4 Star)
    Corps Commander (3 Star)
    Division Commander (if in a Division and not IND Brigade) (2 Star)
    Brigade Commander (Full Bird Col)
    BN Commander (LTC)
    Company Commander (CPT)
    Platoon Leader 2LT or 1LT (near the end of their Platoon Leader time)

    Unless there are a lot of incapacitated Capts, you aren't going to see any 1LT COs.

    1LTs, Majors, Brigadier Generals all serve in Staff and XO positions which are not part of the Chain of Command, as they don't command.

    The NCO Support Channel starts with the SMA, then there are CSMs for every level of the Chain of Command down to BN.

    After BN CSM there is the 1SG for the Comapny

    Then the Platoon Sergeant (a SFC or at times a senior Staff SGT or in a Mortar Platoon case a MSG is authorized as the PSG)

    Then (in the case of the Infantry) Squad Leader (usually an E-6 but at times a senior E-5)

    Then the team leader (first line supervisor) AN E-5, though Often an E-4 either a CPL or a Specialist depending on the politics of the unit.

    Where you said a CPL often commands a squad is not correct. For the Army anyways.

    Below team leader being Specialist down to E-1 rank really doesn't matter all that much, though E-4s do tend to have a bit of a "mafia" in place as they are the senior EMs (meaning they have been around the longest) and they know how to sham and work at instructing FNGs on shamming.
    Кто там?
    Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
    Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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    • #3
      Ok thanks that is what I wanted.
      In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes
      - Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman, author, and scientist

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      • #4
        What about the warrant officers? What does a Warrant Officer One does as opposed to a Chief Warrant Officer Four for example? I know that they mostly fill specialized billets like helicopter pilots or technical stuff but that's about it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChrisF1987 View Post
          What about the warrant officers? What does a Warrant Officer One does as opposed to a Chief Warrant Officer Four for example? I know that they mostly fill specialized billets like helicopter pilots or technical stuff but that's about it.
          If they aren't pilots they are doing paperwork. And they aren't in the chain of command because they don't command.

          I suppose they are important in the big scheme of things, maybe. But as a Private through Staff Sergeant I never saw our BMT do anything that the BMS or BMO or some other PLL or maintenance NCO couldn't take care of. Seemed like a waste of manpower really.
          Кто там?
          Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
          Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

          Comment


          • #6
            In the US army of today, while corporal may still be an official rank, the only rank between PFC and Sgt used seems to be Spc or specialist.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GKZHUKOV View Post
              In the US army of today, while corporal may still be an official rank, the only rank between PFC and Sgt used seems to be Spc or specialist.
              I was a CPL, it is mainly only used in combat arms units, obviously for E-4s in leadership positions that have proven to be reliable. Promotion points to SGT have been so low though lateral promotions to CPL aren't needed.
              Кто там?
              Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
              Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

              Comment


              • #8
                "Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in command."
                Wisdom is personal

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stryker 19K30 View Post
                  Unless there are a lot of incapacitated Capts, you aren't going to see any 1LT COs.

                  1LTs, Majors, Brigadier Generals all serve in Staff and XO positions which are not part of the Chain of Command, as they don't command.

                  The NCO Support Channel starts with the SMA, then there are CSMs for every level of the Chain of Command down to BN.

                  After BN CSM there is the 1SG for the Comapny

                  Then the Platoon Sergeant (a SFC or at times a senior Staff SGT or in a Mortar Platoon case a MSG is authorized as the PSG)

                  Then (in the case of the Infantry) Squad Leader (usually an E-6 but at times a senior E-5)

                  Then the team leader (first line supervisor) AN E-5, though Often an E-4 either a CPL or a Specialist depending on the politics of the unit.

                  Where you said a CPL often commands a squad is not correct. For the Army anyways.
                  For the Marines it can be a bit different. Back in the 1970s I recall 1st Lt as company commanders as not rare. Usually something like the battalion HQ or the weapons company tho rifle company commander as a 1st Lt was known to this E3.

                  In the Marine Corps reserve the reverse is true. Weirdly enough there are few 1st Lts and practically no 2d Lts in the USMC Reserve. 99% of the officers commissioned into the USMC are required to serve a minimum of three years active service, even if they have a Reserve Commission. Most serve more, up to six years before their initial service contract expires. That means the officers joining the Reserve units are senior Lts or Captains, so the typical Reserve rifle company has a Captain or Major as commander & a couple 1st Lts or Captains as platoon commanders. I have also seen Warrant officers as platoon commanders and company XOs in the reserves. In the artillery the requirement for more officers at the battery drew in even more Captains. When my battery was activated for Desert Shield in 1990 we had a overstock of nine officers, all Captains.

                  Unlike the US Army the USMC uses Warrant officers for other specialties than helo pilots. Highly specialized billets like survey officer in the artillery battalions usually went to a Warrant trained for that position. As a additional duty the survey officer usually got command of the entire battalion operations platoon. Another common place to find Warrants in command billets was in the service support units. I recall doing business with a W3 commanding an Electronics maintinace company (ELMACO) on Okinawa.

                  The USMC had two other ranks probablly not found in the US Army. One revived in the 1980 was refered to as "Gunner" & was a Warrant. The other were regular commissioned officers, whom were 'Limited Duty officers' rather than the 'Unrestricted Officers'. Which most of us were. LDO's technically had a limited place in the chain of command. They were the super technicians whom the Warrants bowed to. Generally they had fifteen to 18 years service when first promoted to LDO, & had been Warrants for some time. They often had advanced university degrees or equivalent techincal knowledge. Their promotion schedule was fast tracked & they seldom went more than two years before promotion. I met two in 20 years, one just made a 1st Lt and the other a LtCol. In the later case I worked alongside the LDO for a few days, during which I observed battalion & regiment Sergeant majors humblly defer to the man and a Major General suck up to him. The battalion commanders did not dare approach him and the Col. commanding the regiment spoke to the LDO only to beg to know what he required. By the end of the first day it was fairly obvious that despite that this LtCol LDO had only a small official duty, in actuallity he commanded everything in sight and much beyond.
                  Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 30 Apr 10, 17:05.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                    For the Marines it can be a bit different. Back in the 1970s I recall 1st Lt as company commanders as not rare. Usually something like the battalion HQ or the weapons company tho rifle company commander as a 1st Lt was known to this E3.

                    In the Marine Corps reserve the reverse is true. Weirdly enough there are few 1st Lts and practically no 2d Lts in the USMC Reserve. 99% of the officers commissioned into the USMC are required to serve a minimum of three years active service, even if they have a Reserve Commission. Most serve more, up to six years before their initial service contract expires. That means the officers joining the Reserve units are senior Lts or Captains, so the typical Reserve rifle company has a Captain or Major as commander & a couple 1st Lts or Captains as platoon commanders. I have also seen Warrant officers as platoon commanders and company XOs in the reserves. In the artillery the requirement for more officers at the battery drew in even more Captains. When my battery was activated for Desert Shield in 1990 we had a overstock of nine officers, all Captains.

                    Unlike the US Army the USMC uses Warrant officers for other specialties than helo pilots. Highly specialized billets like survey officer in the artillery battalions usually went to a Warrant trained for that position. As a additional duty the survey officer usually got command of the entire battalion operations platoon. Another common place to find Warrants in command billets was in the service support units. I recall doing business with a W3 commanding an Electronics maintinace company (ELMACO) on Okinawa.

                    The USMC had two other ranks probablly not found in the US Army. One revived in the 1980 was refered to as "Gunner" & was a Warrant. The other were regular commissioned officers, whom were 'Limited Duty officers' rather than the 'Unrestricted Officers'. Which most of us were. LDO's technically had a limited place in the chain of command. They were the super technicians whom the Warrants bowed to. Generally they had fifteen to 18 years service when first promoted to LDO, & had been Warrants for some time. They often had advanced university degrees or equivalent techincal knowledge. Their promotion schedule was fast tracked & they seldom went more than two years before promotion. I met two in 20 years, one just made a 1st Lt and the other a LtCol. In the later case I worked alongside the LDO for a few days, during which I observed battalion & regiment Sergeant majors humblly defer to the man and a Major General suck up to him. The battalion commanders did not dare approach him and the Col. commanding the regiment spoke to the LDO only to beg to know what he required. By the end of the first day it was fairly obvious that despite that this LtCol LDO had only a small official duty, in actuallity he commanded everything in sight and much beyond.
                    Actually, the Army does use WO's in other billets than flying choppers...or at least it did in my time in service. I can't recall what the job is called, senior technician or something, but a WO would more or less be in charge (technically under the battalion motor officer, but the BMOs were always branch officers ie. infantry, armor, arty, cav whatever) of the maintenance of everything with wheels, tracks, or an internal combustion engine (generators).

                    ETA-The chief medic of a battalion was a WO, a qualified Physicians Assistant, I'm sure there are other roles WO's play in the Army as well..
                    Last edited by BazBear; 02 May 10, 09:58.
                    How far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?-Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BazBear View Post
                      Actually, the Army does use WO's in other billets than flying choppers...or at least it did in my time in service. I can't recall what the job is called, senior technician or something, but a WO would more or less be in charge (technically under the battalion motor officer, but the BMOs were always branch officers ie. infantry, armor, arty, cav whatever) of the maintenance of everything with wheels, tracks, or an internal combustion engine (generators).

                      ETA-The chief medic of a battalion was a WO, a qualified Physicians Assistant, I'm sure there are other roles WO's play in the Army as well..
                      Like I said, the BMT, Battalion Maintenance Technician, whom was the only WO in the Armor BN, Cav Squadron, and Infantry BN that I was ever in. This was the only authorized WO in the unit. He was pretty much in charge of PLL (the people who order parts)

                      The PA was always a LT, in very extreme cases a CPT near the end of his PA time.

                      There are other CWOs in other pouge units that I as a combat arms soldier/NCO had no concern for.
                      Кто там?
                      Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                      Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My chain of command seems to be:

                        1 - Everyone

                        2 - Alice

                        It seems that there are about a dozen chiefs and just one dumb scout.
                        TTFN

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                        • #13
                          The army uses Warrant Officers in plenty of fields other than being a helicopter pilot, from being a 131A (field artillery)to a 180A (special forces) all the way up to a 948A (Electronic Missile Systems). My personal goal is to become a 254A (signal support systems)

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                          • #14
                            I saw in one post where NCO's are not part of the CoC in the Army. This is a huge mistake if it is true. I'm a CPL in the USMC, we are part of the CoC, if our Lances and below need anything, they come to us first, then we pass it up the CoC. That is taught from day one in boot camp, small unit leadership. Also, the PFC's and PVT's are told to go to their LCPL's and have them bring them to their CPL when they have issues. If it isn't something the CPL can handle, it is passed on up to the SGT, and so on.

                            Also, in the Corps, squad leaders can be a SGT or a CPL, just depends on what the unit has. Also team leaders can either be CPL's or LCPL's, again, depending on what the unit has. Usually E-6 (SSGT) and above are platoon or above.
                            Last edited by 6thInf grandson; 20 May 10, 02:54.
                            It's my firm conviction that when Uncle Sam calls, by God we go, and we do the best that we can. - R. Lee Ermey

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