United States Army enlisted rank insignia of World War I

The United States Army's enlisted rank insignia that was used during World War I differs from the current system. The color scheme used for the insignia's chevron was olive drab for field use uniforms or one of several colors depending on the corps on dress uniforms. The chevron system used by enlisted men during World War I came into being on July 17, 1902,[1] and was changed to a different system in 1919. Specification 760, which was dated May 31, 1905, contained 45 different enlisted insignia that varied designs and titles by different corps of the Army. General Order Number 169, which was enacted on August 14, 1907, created an even larger variety of enlisted rank insignia. Pay grades similar to the current system were not yet in use by the U.S. Army, and instead, the pay system reflected the job assignment of the soldier rather than their rank. By the end of World War I, the system contained 128 different insignia designs.[2]

Field service rank insigniaEdit

1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade 7th grade 8th grade 9th grade 10th grade 11th grade 12th grade
                      No insignia
Regimental sergeant major Regimental supply sergeant Battalion sergeant major Color sergeant First sergeant Mess sergeant Stable sergeant Company supply sergeant Sergeant Corporal Lance corporal/Private first class (from 1920) Private

Other rank insigniaEdit

The ranks used by the army during the war (1917-1918), by branch, were:

CavalryEdit

           
Regimental sergeant major Chief musician Chief trumpeter Drum major Corporal Farrier/blacksmith
           
Regimental quartermaster sergeant Squadron sergeant major Principal musician Sergeant Lance corporal Saddler
           
Regimental commissary sergeant Color sergeant First sergeant Troop quartermaster sergeant Cook Trumpeter

InfantryEdit

  • Regimental Sergeant Major
  • Band Leader
  • Supply Sergeant, regimental
  • Battalion Sergeant Major
  • First Sergeant
  • First Sergeant (Drum Major)
  • Assistant Band Leader
  • Sergeant Bugler
  • Color Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Supply Sergeant
  • Mess Sergeant
  • Stable Sergeant
  • Band Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Corporal Bugler (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Band Corporal
  • Cook
  • Saddler
  • Wagoner
  • Bugler First Class (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Bugler
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Coast Artillery Corps[3]Edit

  • Sergeant Major Senior Grade
  • Master Electrician
  • Band Leader
  • Engineer
  • Supply Sergeant, regimental
  • Sergeant Major Junior Grade
  • First Sergeant
  • Electrician Sergeant First Class
  • Assistant Engineer
  • Master Gunner
  • Assistant Band Leader
  • Sergeant Bugler
  • Oiler Mine Planter Service (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Steward, Mine Plater Service (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Electrician Sergeant Second Class
  • Radio Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Supply Sergeant
  • Mess Sergeant
  • Band Sergeant
  • Fireman
  • Corporal
  • Corporal Bugler (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Band Corporal
  • Cook
  • Assistant Steward, Mine Planter Service
  • Mechanic
  • Bugler First Class (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Bugler
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Deckhand, Mine Platnter Service (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Field ArtilleryEdit

  • Regimental Sergeant Major
  • Band Leader
  • Supply Sergeant, regimental
  • Battalion Sergeant Major
  • First Sergeant
  • Assistant Band Leader
  • Sergeant Bugler
  • Color Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Supply Sergeant
  • Mess Sergeant
  • Band Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Corporal Bugler (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Band Corporal
  • Cook
  • Horseshoer
  • Saddler
  • Wagoner
  • Chief Mechanic
  • Mechanic
  • Bugler First Class (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Bugler
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Signal CorpsEdit

  • Aviator (until creation of the Air Service)
  • Master Signal Electrician
  • Sergeant First Class
  • chauffeur first Class
  • Sergeant
  • chauffeur
  • Corporal
  • Cook
  • Horseshoer
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Assistant chauffeur
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Corps of EngineersEdit

  • Regimental Sergeant Major
  • Master Engineer Senior Grade
  • Band Leader
  • Master Engineer Junior Grade
  • Supply Sergeant, regimental
  • Battalion Sergeant Major
  • Supply Sergeant, Battalion
  • First Sergeant
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Assistant Band Leader
  • Sergeant Bugler
  • Color Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Supply Sergeant
  • Mess Sergeant
  • Stable Sergeant
  • Band Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Corporal Bugler (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Band Corporal
  • Cook
  • Horseshoer
  • Saddler
  • Wagoner
  • Bugler First Class (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Bugler
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Medical DepartmentEdit

  • Master Hospital Sergeant
  • Hospital Sergeant
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Cook
  • Farrier
  • Horseshoer
  • Saddler
  • Mechanic
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Ordnance DepartmentEdit

  • Ordnance Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private Second Class

Quartermaster CorpsEdit

 
Quartermaster Sergeant 1902-1909
  • Quartermaster Sergeant, Senior Grade
  • Quartermaster Sergeant, Quartermaster Corps
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
    • Cook
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Air Service (Created May 24, 1918)Edit

  • Aviator
  • Master signal Electrician
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Chauffeur First Class
  • Sergeant
  • Chauffeur
  • Corporal
  • Cook
  • Horseshoer
  • Private serving as Lance *Corporal
  • Assistant chauffeur
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Chemical Warfare Service (Created June 28, 1918)Edit

  • Master Chemical Sergeant
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Tank Corps (Created in late 1917)Edit

  • Regimental Sergeant Major
  • Master Engineer Senior Grade
  • Supply Sergeant, regimental
  • Battalion Sergeant Major
  • Supply Sergeant, Battalion
  • First Sergeant
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Sergeant Bugler
  • Color Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Supply Sergeant
  • Mess Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Corporal Bugler (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Cook
  • Bugler First Class (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Bugler
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Motor Transport Corps (Created August 15, 1918)Edit

  • Quartermaster Sergeant, Senior Grade
  • Quartermaster Sergeant, Quartermaster Corps
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

U.S. Military Academy DetachmentEdit

  • First Sergeant
  • Band sergeant and Assistant leader
  • Sergeant
  • Sergeant of Field Music
  • Corporal
  • Cook
  • Bugler First Class (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Bugler
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal

Service School DetachmentsEdit

  • Regimental Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major Senior Grade
  • Master Electrician
  • Master signal Electrician
  • Engineer
  • Quartermaster Sergeant, Quartermaster Corps
  • Supply Sergeant, regimental
  • Battalion Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major Junior Grade
  • First Sergeant
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Electrician Sergeant First Class
  • Master Gunner
  • Electrician Sergeant Second Class
  • Sergeant
  • Supply Sergeant
  • Stable Sergeant
  • Fireman
  • Corporal
  • Corporal Bugler (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Cook
  • Horseshoer
  • Saddler
  • Wagoner
  • Chief Mechanic
  • Mechanic
  • Bugler First Class (created on July 9, 1918)
  • Bugler
  • Private serving as Lance Corporal
  • Private First Class
  • Private

Article III, paragraph 9 of the Regulations for Army of the United States 1913, Corrected to April 15, 1917, gives the order of precedence for officers and noncommissioned officers as:

  • 1. Lieutenant General
  • 2. Major General
  • 3. Brigadier General
  • 4. Colonel
  • 5. Lieutenant Colonel
  • 6. Major
  • 7. Captain
  • 8. First Lieutenant
  • 9. Second Lieutenant
  • 10. Aviator, Signal Corps
  • 11. Cadet
  • 12. (a) Sergeant Major, Regimental
  • Sergeant Major, Senior Grade, Coast Artillery Corps
  • 12.(b) Quartermaster Sergeant, Senior Grade, Quartermaster Corps
  • Master Hospital Sergeant, Medical Department
  • Master Engineer Senior Grade, Corps of Engineers
  • Master Electrician, Coast Artillery Corps
  • Master Signal Electrician
  • Band Leader
  • 12.(c) Hospital Sergeant, Medical Department
  • Master Engineer Junior Grade, Corps of Engineers
  • Engineer, Coast Artillery Corps
  • 13.Ordnance Sergeant
  • Quartermaster Sergeant, Quartermaster Corps
  • Supply Sergeant Regimental
  • 14. Sergeant Major, Squadron and Battalion
  • Sergeant Major Junior Grade, Coast Artillery Corps
  • Supply Sergeant, Battalion, Corps of Engineers
  • 15.(a) First Sergeant
  • 15.(b) Sergeant First Class, Medical Department
  • Sergeant First Class, Quartermaster Corps
  • Sergeant First Class, Corps of Engineers
  • Sergeant First Class, Signal Corps
  • Electrician Sergeant First Class, Coast Artillery Corps
  • Electrician Sergeant, Artillery Detachment, United States Military Academy
  • Assistant Engineer, Coast Artillery Corps
  • Master Gunner, Coast Artillery Corps
  • Master Gunner, Artillery Detachment, United States Military Academy
  • Band Sergeant and Assistant Leader, United States Military Academy Band
  • Assistant Band Leader
  • Sergeant Bugler
  • Electrician Sergeant Second Class, Coast Artillery Corps
  • Electrician Sergeant Second Class, Artillery Detachment, United States Military Academy
  • Radio Sergeant
  • 16.Color Sergeant
  • 17.Sergeant
  • Supply Sergeant Company
  • Mess Sergeant
  • Stable Sergeant
  • Fireman, Coast Artillery Corps
  • 18. Corporal

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ General Order 81, July 17, 1902
  2. ^ "U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry-History of Enlisted Ranks". Archived from the original on 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  3. ^ Berhow, Mark. Insignia of the Coast Artillery Corps (PDF). Coast Defense Study Group Reprint. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 2 June 2021.

External linksEdit