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Platoon sergeant major

Platoon sergeant major (PSM)[1] was an appointment in the British Army in the short-lived rank of warrant officer class III (WOIII), created in 1938.[2] The platoon sergeant major, and his cavalry counterpart, the troop sergeant major, were part of a project giving experienced non-commissioned officers command of units formerly reserved for commissioned officers (platoons and troops). With the outbreak of World War II, National Service filled the Army with enough young men suitable for commissioning, so the project was stood down; no promotions were made to the rank after 1940 and most existing WOIIIs were commissioned as lieutenants.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Note that in the British Army, the plural was "platoon sergeant majors" and not "platoon sergeants major". "No. 48587". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 April 1981. p. 5671. "No. 25044". The London Gazette. 2 December 1881. p. 6467. The earliest usage of "sergeant majors" in The Times is in 1822. The last of the (very occasional) usages of "sergeants major", except when referring to American NCOs, is in 1938.
  2. ^ p. 272 Banham, Tony The Sinking of the Lisbon Maru: Britain's Forgotten Wartime Tragedy Hong Kong University Press, 2006