Ranks in the Military

Ranks in the military are very important because they define the structure which everyone will follow. All Armed Services have their own rank structure from E1 to E9 in the enlisted side. The rank names differ from service to service but they all follow the same pay structure by the Department of Defense.

I will talk about ranks in the Marine Corps since I am familiar with them. The rank of Private is the very first one to get as soon as one graduates from Marine Corps boot camp, it is the lowest rank and as long as the Private’s record is clean he or she will be promoted to Private First Class after four months. Lance Corporal is the next rank to get after 9 months of being a PFC (Private First Class). Getting the first two ranks after being a private are automatic, as long as Marines meet the time required and keep their records clean.

Ranks in the Military are how everyone knows who has the authority to make decisions and it defines the type of responsibility everyone has. Getting the rank of Corporal and Sergeant in the Marine Corps is not automatic. Marines have to accumulate points in different areas in order to meet the score for the next higher grade. These areas include Fitness test, Military education, time in grade, time in service, proficiency and conduct marks, rifle qualifications. Depending on how proficient the Marine is on these areas will determine how fast the marine will get promoted to corporal or Sergeant.

The process of getting the rank of Staff Sergeant to Sergeant Major or Master Gunnery Sergeant is a more thorough process. Marines only have one chance per year to get the next higher grade through a board process; before this happens Marines must meet time in grade and time ins service in order to be considered for the next higher rank. Their records are looked at to make sure the Marine is qualified to get the next rank looking at leadership traits and other aspects to ensure only the most qualified are promoted.

The military structure is very straight forward. Ranks in the military is what gives shape to this structure that everyone follows and it is a very effective way to make sure everyone understands their place within the organization.
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