How we doing hard-chargers, today we’ll discuss rank insignia in the Marine Corps, from the enlisted Private, all the way to the Officer General.
Still to this day we’re referred to as the backbone of the Corps, enlisted Marines with pay grades of E-4 and E-5 are non-commissioned officers (NCOs). While staff NCOs are most of the time career Marines serving in grades E-6 through E-9.
Together they work collaboratively and are responsible to the commanding officer for the welfare, morale, and efficiency of Marines under them. The ranks of E-8 and E-9 each have two ranks per pay grade, with distinct responsibilities.
First sergeants (E-8) and sergeants major (E-9) serve as senior enlisted advisors and they assist the commanding officer in matters such as discipline, administration, and the welfare of the unit.
First sergeants serve as the senior enlisted Marine in a company, while sergeants major serve the same role in battalions, squadrons, or larger units.
Master sergeants (E-8) and master gunnery sergeants (E-9) provide technical leadership as occupational specialists in their specific MOS.
The sergeant major of the Marine Corps is the senior enlisted Marine of the entire Marine Corps, and he is personally selected by the commandant. The sergeant major of the Marine Corps and the Marine gunner are the only billets which rate modified rank insignia in place of traditional rank insignia.
Warrant officers specialize in their respective fields, providing leadership and training to Marines in their military occupational specialty.
A warrant is approved by the secretary of the Navy for a sergeant (E-5) or staff non-commissioned officer (E-6 to E-9) to be appointed a warrant officer. Warrant officers become commissioned officers at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2, they serve as technical advisors, providing expertise to commands and organizations in their field.
A chief warrant officer serving as an infantry weapons officer also carries the title, Marine Gunner, which does not replace his rank. Marine Gunners replace the chief warrant officer insignia on the left collar with a bursting bomb insignia.
Commissioned officers are college graduates who have earned and accepted an appointment issued in the name of the president of the United States.
Their commission gives them responsibility of leading Marines as they defend the Constitution of the United States. Commissioned officer ranks are further subdivided into generals, field-grade, and company-grade officers.
The commandant of the Marine Corps and the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps are four-star ranks.
You may want to practice and go over this a few times, I say this because if you address a Marine, by the wrong rank (specifically a motard) you’re gonna be in for a very special treat. I give you my word…
Isaac J. Hall II