Tuesday, November 10, 2009


These are the U.S. Army ranks and their equivalent NATO designations.

Commissioned Officers:[20]

There are several paths to becoming a commissioned officer including Army ROTC, the United States Military Academy at West Point or the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, and Officer Candidate School. Certain professionals, physicians, nurses, lawyers, and chaplains are commissioned directly into the Army. But no matter what road an officer takes, the insignia are the same.

The highest officer rank is the five-star general (General of the Army) and the lowest is the second lieutenant.

Address all personnel with the rank of general as "General (last name)" regardless of the number of stars. Likewise, address both colonels and lieutenant colonels as "Colonel (last name)" and first and second lieutenants as "Lieutenant (last name)."

US DoD Pay Grade O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 Special¹ Special
Insignia US-OF1B.svg US-OF1A.svg US-O3 insignia.svg US-O4 insignia.svg US-O5 insignia.svg US-O6 insignia.svg US-O7 insignia.svg US-O8 insignia.svg US-O9 insignia.svg US-O10 insignia.svg US-O11 insignia.svg
Pershing's insignia
Conjectural Design for General of the Armies
Title Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Brigadier General Major General Lieutenant General General General of the Army General of the Armies
NATO Code OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10
¹ Conferred only in times of Congressionally declared war to selected Generals.

Warrant Officers:

Warrant Officers are single track, specialty officers with subject matter expertise in a particular area. They are initially appointed as warrant officers (in the rank of WO1) by the Secretary of the Army, but receive their commission upon promotion to Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2).

Technically, warrant officers are to be addressed as "Mr. (last name)" or "Ms. (last name)." However, many personnel do not use those terms, but instead say "Sir", "Ma'am", or most commonly, "Chief".

US DoD Pay Grade W-1 W-2 W-3 W-4 W-5
Insignia US-Army-WO1.png US-Army-CW2.png US-Army-CW3.png US-Army-CW4.png US-Army-CW5.png
Title Warrant Officer 1 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer 5
Abbreviation WO1 CW2 CW3 CW4 CW5
NATO Code WO-1 WO-2 WO-3 WO-4 WO-5

Enlisted Personnel:

Sergeants are referred to as NCOs, short for non-commissioned officers. Corporals are also non-commisioned officers, and serve as the base of the non-commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks. Corporals are also called "hard stripes", in recognition of their leadership position. This distinguishes them from specialists who might have the same pay grade, but not the leadership responsibilities.

Address privates (E1 and E2) and privates first class (E3) as "Private (last name)." Address specialists as "Specialist (last name)." Address sergeants, staff sergeants, and sergeants first class as "Sergeant (last name)." Address higher ranking sergeants by their full ranks in conjunction with their names.

All Sergeant ranks from E-5 SGT to E-8 MSG are simply referred to as "Sergeant (last name)". First Sergeant as "First Sergeant (last name)", Sergeant Major, Command Sergeant Major, and Sergeant Major of the Army as "Sergeant Major (last name)". Privates are usually referred to simply by their last names.

US DoD Pay grade E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
Insignia No Insignia US Army E-2.svg US Army E-3.svg US Army E-4 SPC.svg US Army E-4.svg US Army E-5.svg US Army E-6.svg US Army E-7.svg US Army E-8 MSG.svg US Army E-8 1SG.svg US Army E-9 SGM.svg US Army E-9 CSM.svg US Army E-9 SMA.svg
Title Private Private Private First Class Specialist Corporal Sergeant Staff Sergeant Sergeant First Class Master Sergeant First Sergeant Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Army
NATO Code OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-8 OR-9 OR-9 OR-9
¹ PVT is also used as an abbreviation for both Private ranks when pay grade need not be distinguished
² SP4 is sometimes encountered in lieu of SPC for Specialist. This is a holdover from when there were additional specialist ranks at higher pay grades.


Training in the United States Army is generally divided into two categories – individual and collective.

Basic training consists of 9 weeks for most recruits followed by AIT (Advanced Individualized Training) where they receive training for their MOS with the length of AIT school varying by the MOS. Individuals who have the MOS 11B (infantry) go to 14 weeks of OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at Fort Benning, Georgia. OSUT counts as basic and AIT for infantry soldiers. Individual training for enlisted soldiers usually consists of 14 weeks for those who hope to hold the Military Occupational Specialty for infantryman, MOS 11B. Other combat MOSs consist of similar training length. Support and other MOS hopefuls attend nine weeks of Basic Combat Training followed by Advanced Individual Training in their primary (MOS) at any of the numerous MOS training facilities around the country. The length of time spent in AIT depends on the MOS of the soldier. Depending on the needs of the Army BCT is conducted at a number of locations, but two of the longest running are the Armor School at Fort Knox, Kentucky and the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. For officers this training includes pre-commissioning training either at USMA, ROTC, or OCS. After commissioning, officers undergo six weeks of training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase II at Ft. Benning or Ft. Sill, followed by their branch specific training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase III (formerly called Officer Basic Course) which varies in time and location based on their future jobs.

Collective training takes place both at the unit's assigned station, but the most intensive collective training takes place at the three Combat Training Centers (CTC); the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Joint Multinational Training Center (JMRC) at the Hohenfels Training Area in Hohenfels, Germany.

Six Sigma Training

The largest business transformation attempted to date was by the United States Army and its 1.3 million employees. Six Sigma first found its way into the Army in 2002 in the Army Material Command division, which is responsible for purchasing virtually everything in the army, from cornmeal to aircraft. Efficiencies from Six Sigma achieved in this department, a few others, as well as an increasingly disproportional amount of demands compared to funds post 9/11, led to an army wide implementation of the program in late 2005.

After careful consideration, the army decided to implement the program the way the army does everything: centrally plan and de-centrally execute. Army generals and members of the government went behind closed doors for two days, learning their responsibilities of the implementation and the benefits they will achieve. Army employees with leadership roles were asked to define areas their departments were experiencing problems in as well as identify key personnel they felt were capable of learning Six Sigma. Eventually, the lowest ranking employees were asked to define the largest problems they faced on a day to day basis, and the answers were sent to the Army generals who, with the help of Six Sigma, strategically developed and proposed proper solutions.

Army employees were trained in Six Sigma through the use of experts. Since training began in June 2006, they have trained 1,240 Green Belts, 446 Black Belts, and 15 Master Black Belts; completed 1,069 projects; and managed to save nearly two billion dollars to date. The army realized such huge savings by implementing new, more efficient methods, eliminating waste as well as the elimination of non-value adding activities.

Many improvements in the Army’s business processes should be credited to the vast improvements in efficiency. In particular, the dramatic effect Six Sigma has had on eliminating redundancies in efforts and resources has resulted in savings nearly a quarter of their cost. Productivity has increased and costs have decreased because of such eliminations, resulting in a more financially secure Army. New software uncovered that the Army was paying to provide foreign language instruction to a substantial number of non army personnel; this discovery, followed by the restructuring of the program, saved the Army $400 million the following year. Other Six Sigma improvements, saving the Army millions, include streamlining the recruiting process, preventing food waste at West Point, and improving foreign military sales. Such successes enjoyed by the Army have recently lead to the full implementation of Six Sigma by both the Air Force and Navy, as well as initiating talks with the Secretary of Defense to incorporate lean Six Sigma throughout the entire department.

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