Each one of one of us has our limitations. When pushed to our limitations weather is be mental or physical sometimes our reactions become irrational. However being in todays army and serving as a Non-Commisoned Officer no matter what limit you are push to you must always maintain a the upmost level of perfessionalism and respect. Last week I push to a new level of fustrtion and madness. In response to this I lost my proffesinalism, I dissrespected a sernior non-commisoned officer something that should never be done. In response i was formally consoled and told to write a 5 page essay on the importance of military customs and curtisties.

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Before I can truely go into that I figured I must first go into what exactly the rank structure is. What each rank actually means. Not just to me but to the army. Private- Private First Class This is the first fe wranks within the United States Army. It from the Latin word privus or perhaps privo it is a person without (deprived of) an office. That certainly describes a Private in the Army. The term as a military rank comes from the Sixteenth Century when individuals had the privilege of enlisting or making private contracts to serve as private soldiers in military units.

Before the Sixteenth Century many armies were simply feudal levies in which the feudal lords forced their serfs or subjects to serve. Speicilaist The spiecalist is possible the most intresting rank of them all. It is a the first rank where you gain some repect in todays army, yet you still do not hold any title of responsbilte for others. Many reguard this as the best rank in today military due to the aformentioned reason. The army of specialst used to have different skill levels but that practice was abolished roughly 20 years ago.

Today it is considered one of the monst vitial ranks in reguards to leadership. For the first time in ones army career he or she may be task and put in charge of something, thus testing there leadership

Page 2 Ranks and customs army Essay

capabilites. Though they are often tasked with doing something the responsibletie rarely will fall on there shoulders if it is not done or not done correctly. This responsbility will be that of the NCO appointed over them. After this rank is when responsbilites and respect take hand. For the first time in someones military career they are called a NCO. The acranoym of NCO stands for Non-Commoishioned officer.

There are two types of officers in todays army. First type of officer is the Non-commsioned Officer. A non-commissioned officer, is an enlisted member of an armed forces who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. The NCO corps includes all the grades of sergeant and (commissioned) officer, who, in most armies, is discouraged from developing too close personal relationships with his charges. Though there is only one NCO thre are 2 levels of which to acheive in being a NCO. We call these Jounior NCO’s (e-4 through e-6) and Senior NCO (e-7 through e-9).

The expectations of the two levels are the same, and nothing less then the utmost of professalism will be tolerated. The first level is what we are going to be speaking is the jounior noncommsioned officer. It is the jouinor non commisoned officer whom has the most direct contact with the troops. The promption into beocming a jouiner nco is what is more commonly know as a semi centerlaized promiton. Semi centralized Promotion process means that the unit (company) plays a part in the promotion selection process, but it’s the Army who decides who actually gets promoted The ranks are as followed:

The corporal was established in 1775 with the birth of the Army and the NCO corps. Along with the rank of sergeant, the corporal is the only rank that has never disappeared from the NCO corps. The corporal is the base of the NCO ranks, serving as leader of the smallest Army units, principally; teams leaders. Like sergeant, corporals are responsible for the individual training, personal appearance and cleanliness of their soldiers. As the command sergeant major is known as the hieght of success in the NCO corps, the corporal is the beginning of the NCO corps.

As the NCO corps is known as the backbone of the Army, the corporal is the backbone of the NCO corps. The rank of corporal is not a position in which to learn how to become a leader – no apprenticeship here. While certainly the new corporal will be developed new skills, strengthening old ones and generally better, he or she is a sergeant, and is no less a professional than those grades of rank to come. SERGEANT: Of all the NCO ranks, this one, very possibly, has the greatest impact on lower-ranking soldiers.

Privates, who are the basic manpower strength of the Army, generally have sergeants as their first NCO leaders. It is to the rank of sergeant that the privates look for example. Sergeants are responsible for the individual training, personal appearance and cleanliness of their soldiers. The authority of the sergeant is equal to that of any other NCO rank. The sergeant must be unquestionably competent in order to carry out the mission correctly, accomplish each task and care for assigned soldiers. The Sergeant started out as a servant, serviens in Latin, to a knight in medieval times.

He became a fighting man because combat in those days often amounted to cutting down everybody in reach, regardless of whether they were armed. He became an experienced warrior who might ride a horse but was not wealthy enough to afford all the equipment and retainers to qualify as a knight. As an experienced soldier he might be called upon to take charge of a group of serfs or other common people forced to serve in an army of feudal levies. The Sergeant would conduct what training he could to teach his charges to fight, lead them into battle and, most important, keep them from running away during a battle.

Sergeant was not a rank but an occupation. He might lead others he might fight alone or as a member of a group of sergeants, or he might serve the lord of his village as a policeman or guard. The modern title “sergeant-at-arms” used by many clubs recalls armed Sergeants who kept order at meetings. STAFF SERGEANT: The rank of staff sergeant closely parallels that of the sergeant in duties and responsibilities. In fact, the basic duties and responsibilities of all the NCO ranks never change, but there are significant difference between this step in the NCO structure and the preceding one.

The staff sergeant is a more experienced leader of soldiers. It is proper to expect that the staff sergeant can bring the benefits of that experience to bear in any situation and under all circumstances. The major difference between the staff sergeant and the sergeant is not authority, as is often mistakenly believed, but rather sphere of influence. The staff sergeant is in daily contact with large numbers of soldiers and generally has more equipment and other property to maintain. Staff sergeants often have one or more sergeants working under their leadership.

Staff sergeants are responsible for their continued successful development as well as that of other soldiers in the section, squad or team. If NCOs are “the backbone” of the Army, then staff sergeants are the elements of which backbones are made. The complexities of the staff sergeant’s job increases as the responsibilities broaden. The staff sergeant’s success, more than any other grade of the NCO rank, leads to the Army’s success, and the footprints you see behind those of our greatest military leaders are probably those of staff sergeants, where they stood confident, proud and eager to assist.

The position title of platoon sergeant is considered key in the command structure of the Army. Platoon sergeants generally have several staff sergeants working under their leadership. The platoon sergeant is the key assistant and advisor to the platoon leader. In the absence of the platoon leader, the platoon sergeant commands the platoon. The sergeant first class may serve in a position subordinates to the platoon sergeant or may serve as the NCOIC of a section with all the attendants responsibilities and duties of the platoon sergeant.

Whether platoon sergeant or sergeant first class, this is the first level at which the term senior NCO property applies. The platoon sergeant or sergeant first class generally has 15 to 18 years or more of military experience and is rightfully expected to bring that experience to bear in quick, accurate decisions that are in the best interest of the mission and the soldier. The platoon sergeant is expected to embody all the traits of a leader. Unlike the promotion processes for Private through Staff Sergeant, your unit commander has little to do with the promotion process to E-7, E-8, and E-9.

These promotions are completely centralized at Head Quarters of the Department of the Army (HQDA). Enlisted Centralized Selection Boards are convened Army-wide, at the U. S. Army Enlisted Records and Evaluations Center (USAEREC) in Indianapolis, Indiana. USAEREC is a subordinate command of U. S. Army’s Personnel Command (PERSCOM). With that said for the first time in someone’s military carrer, it is at this point that you can no longer loose your rank with the company commanders recommendation. FIRST SERGEANT AND MASTER SERGEANT: When you are talking about the first sergeant, you are talking about the lifeblood of the Army.

There can be no substitute for this position or any questions of its importance. When first sergeants are exceptional, their units are exceptional, regardless of any other single personality involved. It is the position of first sergeant in which almost all unit operations merge. The first sergeant holds formations, instructs platoon sergeants the commander and assists in training all enlisted members. The first sergeants is proud of the unit and, understandably, wants others to be aware of the unit’s success. For the first time, the title of address for this grade is not sergeant.”first sergeant. ” There is a unique relationship of confidence and respect that exists between the first sergeant and the commander not found at another level within the Army. The master sergeant serves as the principal NCO in staff elements at battalion and higher levels. Although not charged with the enormous leadership responsibilities of the first sergeant, the master sergeant is expected to dispatch leadership and other duties with the same professionalism and to achieve the same results as the first sergeant.Enlisted soldiers who attain the distinction of being selected to be command sergeant major are the highest level of success in their chosen field. Except sergeant major of the Army, there is no higher grade of rank for enlisted soldiers, and there is no greater honor. The command sergeant major carries out policies and standard of the performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted personnel. The command sergeant major advises and initiates recommendations to the commander and staff in matters pertaining to the local NCO support channel.

Perhaps slightly wiser and more experienced than the first sergeant, the command sergeant major is expected to function completely without supervision. Like the old sage of times past, the command sergeant major’s counsel is expected to be calm, settled and accurate, but with an energy and enthusiasm that never changes, even in the worst of times. Assignable to anywhere in the Army, the command sergeants major is all those things, and more, of each of the preceding grades of rank. The sergeant major is generally the key enlisted member of staff elements at levels than higher than battalion.

The sergeant major’s experience and ability are equal to that of the command sergeant major, but the sphere of influence regarding leadership is generally limited to those directly under his charge. The military, like any organization, has different positions within its organizational structure. NCO’s or Non Commissioned Officers are not brutes who bully the lower rankers into obeying orders. Higher ranking then any of the noncommsioned officers are the commisoned officers. A Lieutenant often takes the place of a superior officer when that officer is absent. The word comes from the French lieu (place) and tenant (holder).

The Lieutenant then is one who holds the place of another. Since he took the place of a senior officer the Lieutenant ranked next to that person and was his deputy. A Captain is a chieftain or head of a unit. The title comes from the Latin word capitaneus that meant chieftain, which in turn came from an older Latin word caput that meant head. It would seem that a Captain could head a unit of any size but as armies evolved his post came to be at the head of a company, usually 100 to 200 men. That seemed to be the number one man could manage in battle. Captains were company commanders in the British, French and other armies for centuries.

They carried on that job in our Army1775 to the present. Army Captains got their rank insignia of two bars in about 1832 at the same time the First Lieutenants got one bar. The bars were gold except for the Infantry officers who wore silver bars until 1851. The two bars originated a few years earlier when Captains and Lieutenants both wore plain epaulettes whose differences were mostly in the size of the fringes. To help distinguish between the two ranks, Captains wore two strips or “holders” of gold or silver lace across the epaulette straps while Lieutenants wore one strip.

In 1872 Captains changed to silver bars. These were two separate bar embroidered onto shoulder straps or epaulettes. The “railroad tracks” used by Captains today appeared when officers started using metal pin-on rank insignia on their khaki or olive drab uniforms during or shortly after the Spanish-American War. Major is a Latin word that means “greater” as compared to minor that means “less. ” Majors in our Army started wearing oak leaves as rank insignia on their shoulder straps about 1832. Why the Army chose oak leaves remains a mystery. Anyway, back to the Major and his oak leaves.

In 1832 the color of the leaves had to be opposite the color of the shoulder strap borders so Infantry Majors wore gold leaves while other Majors wore silver. After 1851 all Majors wore gold oak leaves. They did not have oak leaves on their epaulettes because the size of the fringes on their epaulettes and other features of their uniforms identified them as Majors. A Lieutenant Colonel typically commands a battalion-sized unit (300 to 1,000 soldiers), with a Command Sergeant Major as principal NCO assistant. A Lieutenant Colonel may also serve as a brigade or task force Executive Officer.

A General usually has overall command of a whole army. His title comes from the Latin word generalis that meant something pertaining to a whole unit of anything rather than just to a part. As a military term General started as an adjective, as in Captain General indicating the Captain who had overall or “general” command of the army. Moving on to some of the armies customs The Army has its own customs, both official and social. Some have been handed down from the distant past while others are of comparatively recent origin. Those customs that endure stand on their own merits.

As a long established social organization, the Army observes a number of customs that add to the interest, pleasure, and graciousness of Army life. Often it is these customs and traditions, strange to the civilian eye but solemn to the soldier, that keep the man in the uniform going in the unexciting times of peace. In war they keep him fighting at the front. The fiery regimental spirit fondly polished over decades and centuries possesses him in the face of the enemy. [The soldier] fights for the regiment, his battalion, his company, his platoon, his section, his comrade. A custom is an established practice.

Customs include positive actions—things you do, and taboos—things you avoid. All established arts, trades, and professions, all races of people, all nations, and even different sections of the same nation have their own practices and customs by which they govern a part of their lives. Many Army customs compliment procedures required by military courtesy, while others add to the graciousness of garrison life. The breach of some Army customs merely brands the offender as ignorant, careless, or ill bred. Violations of other Army customs, however, will bring official censure or disciplinary action.

The customs of the Army are its common law. These are a few: * Never criticize the Army or a leader in public. * Never go “over the heads” of superiors—don’t jump the chain of command. * Never offer excuses. * Never “wear” a superior’s rank by saying something like, “the first sergeant wants this done now,” when in fact the first sergeant said no such thing. Speak with your own voice. * Never turn and walk away to avoid giving the hand salute. * Never run indoors or pretend you don’t hear (while driving, for example) to avoid standing reveille or retreat. * Never appear in uniform while under the influence of alcohol.

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