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Official U.S. Army Grade and Rank Structure Bulletin1965

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This Bulletin in the form of an artical from the April 1965 issue of Army Information Digest describes the new changes and depicts the current insignia. Of special note in the narrative, though it is according to this bulletin that the Super Spec ranks of Spec 8 and Spec 9 were done away with at this time, we do see that there might of been Specialists 8 after all. To quote " The Few E-8 Specialists promoted in 1958 have been transfered into NCO Grades and no others have been have been autherized since", no mention of Specialists 9 however, but we still would need an actual photo of the Spec 8 rank insignia being worn.

 

Also it was as this time we see that the new insignia for the Command Sergeants Major and the Lance Corporals were introduced officially, but as we know not actually issued for wear, or having in the case of the E-9 grade, had it's title changed, all this occured a few years later in the late spring of 1968. In the case of the Lance Corporal insignia, it was just retitled as the new Private First Class E-3 grade insignia, with the traditional single stripe of Private First Class now being the grade insignia for Private E-2.

 

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Interesting. Thanks for posting. This calls into question the authenticity of subdued SPEC 8 and 9 subdued chevrons being that subdued chevrons weren't introduced until several years after this bulletin. I've always been highly suspect of them, as until seeing some within the last few years ago on Ebay, I NEVER saw any in many prior years of collecting.


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Okay, this triggered an old question that has been nagging at me for years: When did the Army ever have "Lance Corporals?" I came in in August of 1980 and E-3 had always been "PFC" to my knowledge. Furthermore, you would think that if there had ever been Lance Corporals in the 1960's during the height of Vietnam, some Lance would have won a Silver Star, DSC or MOH, but I have never heard of an Army "lance corporal" doing anything.

 

Does anyone know if the Army ever actually used the rank of "lance corporal?" I have seen charts like this that show the rank but I have never heard of anyone ever actually being referred to as a lance corporal in the Army.


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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Whoops, sorry, I should have read your post above. So if I understand you correctly, for at least 2- 3 years (Spring '65 to Spring '68) there were lance corporals in the Army?


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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No, it was never actually implemented. Maybe because someone realized that for most soldiers the next step was Specialist 4, not Corporal? Anyway in 1968 when the new grade was implemented, it became PFC with one rocker and Private E-2 got one chevron. Also proposed but never implemented was the E-9 Chief Master Sergeant.

 

ETA: The army did have lance corporals in some branches back in the 1890s to WW1 period.

 

Patches, an interesting post, thanks!

 

Justin B.


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No, it was never actually implemented. Maybe because someone realized that for most soldiers the next step was Specialist 4, not Corporal? Anyway in 1968 when the new grade was implemented, it became PFC with one rocker and Private E-2 got one chevron. Also proposed but never implemented was the E-9 Chief Master Sergeant.

 

ETA: The army did have lance corporals in some branches back in the 1890s to WW1 period.

 

Patches, an interesting post, thanks!

 

Justin B.

 

Wait, so if it was never actually implemented, what was the rank of E-3 from 1965 to 1968? Was it PFC with one chevron? And so does that mean that the ranks of E-1 and E-2 had no insignia?


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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Wait, so if it was never actually implemented, what was the rank of E-3 from 1965 to 1968? Was it PFC with one chevron? And so does that mean that the ranks of E-1 and E-2 had no insignia?

 

Correct, between 1948 and 1968 you didn't get grade insignia till E-3. Here is a chart with the highlights:

http://uniform-reference.net/insignia/usarmy/usa_enlisted_chron.html

 

Justin B.


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Correct, between 1948 and 1968 you didn't get grade insignia till E-3. Here is a chart with the highlights:

http://uniform-reference.net/insignia/usarmy/usa_enlisted_chron.html

 

Justin B.

 

Ah, got, it, thanks.

 

Very informative chart. Nice the way it shows comparisons of pay grades between different eras.

 

So there was no rank of "Sergeant Major" during WWII? Now that I think about it, I don't recall ever seeing anyone referring to a Sergeant Major during the war so I guess that makes sense. I know that in some rank systems, Sergeant Major is not a rank, it's a duty position like First Sergeant or Platoon Sergeant.

 

I do remember that when I was in the CO National Guard from 83 to 86, it was normal for duty rosters or personnel charts to refer to the platoon sergant by the abbreviation PSG, as in, "2nd Platoon: 2LT Smith and PSG Jones." But I'm assuming this was "unofficial" and that their 201 files and other paperwork would correctly reflect the rank of SFC.

 

One final note/quibble: That chart shows the rank of SP/4 changing to SPC in 1985 with the elimination of the SP/5 and SP/6 ranks. That might make sense but it's not how I remember it. When I was promoted to E-4 in March of 1988 all of the official documents indicated I was being promoted to the rank of SP/4. From my recollection, it was beginning in October of 1988 that our unit "officially" started referring to E-4's as only "Specialist" and abbreviating it as "SPC" rather than "SP4."


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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So there was no rank of "Sergeant Major" during WWII? Now that I think about it, I don't recall ever seeing anyone referring to a Sergeant Major during the war so I guess that makes sense. I know that in some rank systems, Sergeant Major is not a rank, it's a duty position like First Sergeant or Platoon Sergeant.

 

 

Yep, units had the position of sergeant major, in fact, my grandpa was one, sergeant major of an engineer regiment. His grade was master sergeant, and his occupational code was 502, Administrative NCO.

 

Justin B.


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Anyone find a foto of a Spec 8? claims in artical a few were given this rank, sure would love to see that.

 

@Kurt A Justin B, Thanks pals, was sitting on this for awhile, got it scanned by a friend recently, just didn't want to talk about it and write what it said, wanted and needed to show actual original artical.

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What ever became of the Chief Master Sergeant referred to in the article? Just like the fact that the grade of Lance Corporal was never actually adopted, I'm pretty sure Chief Master Sergeant wasn't either. Somewhere I have a newspaper clipping which I believe is from the spring of 1968 showing several Sergeants Major of the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam being promoted to the newly created rank of Command Sergeant Major. That would be around the same time the new Private First Class insignia with rocker was introduced (May 1968).

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What ever became of the Chief Master Sergeant referred to in the article? Just like the fact that the grade of Lance Corporal was never actually adopted, I'm pretty sure Chief Master Sergeant wasn't either. Somewhere I have a newspaper clipping which I believe is from the spring of 1968 showing several Sergeants Major of the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam being promoted to the newly created rank of Command Sergeant Major. That would be around the same time the new Private First Class insignia with rocker was introduced (May 1968).

It was a Chiefs Master Sergeant was a rank title change, supposidly E-9s with leadership slots were to called the Command Sergeants Major, while Admin E-9s were to called Chiefs Master Sergeants. Like you would imagine, it never flew, don't think I ever seen a E-9 in the 65-68 period referered to as either a Command Sergeant Major or Chief Master Sergeant, just as Sergeant Major. Does some one have a example of abbrevations in a period photo or roster?

 

According to the pretty good book on post 1945 Army Badges and Insigina by Guido Rossignoli, the 1973 book on Army insignia of the many of the worlds leading armies, it states the same basic info as seen in the artical, but goes on to state that in 1968 Chiefs Master Sergeant was retitled Staff Sergeants Major, this I gather was the exact time the "new" CSM with wreath and star was finally given the go ahead to be the official insignia of the "new" Command Sergeants Major rank, the E-9s who held leadership slots, with the retitled Staff Sergeants Major still being Admin, ie senior Staff NCOS. Confusing right :lol: But, later still Rossignoli states that on 1 July 1969, the Staff Sergeants Major grade was retitle yet again, this time to plain Sergeants Major.

 

But having said all this, barring any info/photos to the contrary, I believe that the titles for both leadership E-9s and Staff/Admin E-9s were whether official or unofficially in the 65 -68 period as mentioned just wrtitten as Sergeant Major, even after the new Staff Sergeant Major rank title change.

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Now here's an interesting find, just found it seconds ago.

 

post-34986-0-47716200-1416450988.jpg

 

Note the 30 March 1968 date that's at the top of the artical, seems then the both the new rank grade and it's insigina was autherized a little later than May 1968.

http://ncojournal.dodlive.mil/2014/03/19/this-month-in-nco-history-march-30-1968-the-first-female-command-sergeant-major/

 

 

 

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According to Emerson's "Chevrons" books "Staff Sergeant Major" lasted from '68 to '71, when the "staff" was dropped. BTW his citation for the proposed-but-never-implemented Chief Master Sergeant is the same document Patches posted up top.

 

Justin B.


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I was able to find a sampling of E-9s to see their rank abbrivations to see if it says CMS and or SSM. In the list before you click on the name is where we see the rank abbrivation, these one has SMAJ and was a non combat death in 1968 and 1970.

 

1968

http://www.virtualwall.org/dm/MilletteHE01a.htm

 

 

1970

http://www.virtualwall.org/dc/CooperKW01a.htm

 

Is there a list of names of Army E-9 fatalties???

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Anyone find a foto of a Spec 8? claims in artical a few were given this rank, sure would love to see that.

 

@Kurt A Justin B, Thanks pals, was sitting on this for awhile, got it scanned by a friend recently, just didn't want to talk about it and write what it said, wanted and needed to show actual original artical.

 

I have looked and looked on the internet and never found one. I had enough difficulty finding a SP/7 photo!

 

I had to go to a military web site (http://www.armyparatrooper.org) to find a picture of a SP/7 insignia being worn, even though supposedly this was used until 1978. I asked a couple of the old-timers there if they had ever been a SP/7 or ever worked under a SP/7. A couple of them said that the most common place to see a SP/7 would have been in a hospital or medical unit where some of the experienced technicians (x-ray techs, etc) were SP/7's and sometimes a section NCOIC would be a SP/7 because his position didn't require him to be in an NCO slot.


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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I was able to find a sampling of E-9s to see their rank abbrivations to see if it says CMS and or SSM. In the list before you click on the name is where we see the rank abbrivation, these one has SMAJ and was a non combat death in 1968 and 1970.

 

1968

http://www.virtualwall.org/dm/MilletteHE01a.htm

 

 

1970

http://www.virtualwall.org/dc/CooperKW01a.htm

 

Is there a list of names of Army E-9 fatalties???

 

As far as CSM and SSM abbreviations, when did the Army switch over to 3-letter/number abbreviations for ranks? The US Army is the only service that does that. For example, both the USAF and USMC abbreviate Staff Sergeant as SSgt.

 

One place it was very common to see E-9s who were not CSMs was in Special Forces units. SF Line companies don't have First Sergeants, they have SGMs who are, in essence, the first sergeant of the company even though their title is "Company Sergeant Major." Each SF Battalion actually has 4 E-9 slots, a CSM in the Battalion HQ and 3 SGMs in the line companies (the support company - which is where I worked - always had a 1SG.)


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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@Martin, it depends on what source one looks at really in requard to the rank abbrievations, in a 1967 yearbook, they still were given as SSgt etc, source a 1st Cav Div yearbook, also Basil Plummley is in it, in the roster of Purple Heart Awards for 1965-66, he has his rank of Sergeant Major abbrivated as SMa. So as to when abbrivations started being a little differnant for certain EM grades? late 68? I say this as the 101 yearbook of 1968 does list in example Staff Sergeant as SSG rather than SSgt. Also the Specialist ranks varied from one source to another in the 50s (1955 on) 60s-70s, seen them both in print as Spec and or SP, as in Spec 3 SP3 (the 1955 to 1958 designation), Spec 6 SP6 etc.

 

I got a ton of 1960s Army periodicals, I should go through them :lol:

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Army Reserve Magazine, May 1969:

 

attachicon.gifusar_mag_may_69.jpg

Good info, will check my 60s magazines for abbreviations of E-6, E-8, and E-9 ranks, specialists too, will post what I see.

 

In retrospect Justin, those ranks for E-9s in the Virtual Wall are more than likely current abbrevations or derivatives of them, we shouldn't think of them as being too period.

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Here are two sets of general orders issued by the 3rd Brigade 82nd Airborne Division in 1969 showing the abbreviation of SGM for Sergeant Major and CSM for Command Sergeant Major. Notice that there is no reference to SSM for Staff Sergeant Major. Also notice that Bingham is listed as SGM in the first set of orders while he is listed as CSM in the second set. As far as I know, an infantry battalion only has one position for a sergeant major, so I assume that he was filling the same position prior to his official promotion to Command Sergeant Major sometime between January and June 1969.

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Second set of 82nd orders. Also note that Section III shows one of the E-7's listed officially as PSG for Platoon Sergeant. I know this was not an official rank per se but I assume it was used officially to denote an E-7 filling the role of platoon sergeant much like 1SG was used to denote and E-8 filling that position.

post-1761-0-89556800-1417381193.jpg

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A memo from the January 1970 issue of ARMY DIGEST.

 

It states, and I quote

 

" RANK CHANGE Term "Staff Sergeant Major" heading out. Following rank

designations within E-9 Grade now apply:

. Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA).

. Command Sergeant Major (CSM).

. Sergeant Major (SGM).

 

 

So as we can see the info on the date of 1971 in regards to the abolition of the Staff Sergeant Major trank title in Grade E-9 in Emerson's book is largely correct, as well as the Army Reserve brief Justin B posted. Even as we see the Reserve brief Justin B posted has a May 1969 date it will be as per usual in that the Army it takes a bit to actually have a reg implemented, even to the point of repeating the new changes over a period of time.

 

Still, still looking for the title Staff Sergeant Major in both full and it's abbreviation form in some kind of print, like in a portrait or in award orders, all I see if NOT a Command Sergeant Major (post 1968) is just simple Sergeant Major and it's various abbreviations.

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