Identify Marine Corps Rank Structure

Edited by Ephraim, Lynn, Adrian Penaflor, Robbi and 6 others

Symbolism and Rank Insignia

All branches of the military conduct ceremonies and use many forms of symbolism for the various promotions and tasks they encounter. For many, each ceremony and symbol has deep personal meaning. One of the official emblems of the Marines is the Eagle, Globe and Anchor (EGA). This emblem became official in 1955, but has been in use for over 200 years. This emblem represents the commitment to defend our nation; in the air, on land and at sea. This is one of the first emblems new recruits receive during the last week of boot camp.[1]

New recruits learn rank knowledge shows respect and professionalism.

The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor -- Insignia of the U.S. Marine Corps National Museum of the Marine Corps Triangle (VA) 2012.jpg


Officer ranks consist of Commissioned and Warrant Officers (there are no Warrant Officers in the Air Force). The highest ranks in the military are Commissioned Officers, which are also college graduates. The Commissioned Officers are commissioned by the President of the United Stated and confirmed by the Senate. Their job is to lead Marines and defend the Constitution of the United States.

  • A mnemonic aid to recall seniority is: Be my Little General for Brigadier, Major, Lieutenant, and General.[2]


2nd Lieutenant (O-1): Of the Commissioned Officers, Second Lieutenant is the entry-level rank. They may command a platoon of up to approximately 40 Marines. The insignia, which is a single gold bar, is unofficially called a "butter bar".


1st Lieutenant (O-2): Of the commissioned officers, First Lieutenant is the second of the junior commissioned ranks. They function as leaders of specialty platoons and as Executive Officers in larger Marine units. Their insignia is one silver bar.


Captain (O-3): Captains may serve as a Company Commander and be in charge of up to approximately 200 Marines. The insignia for Captain is double silver bars.


Major (O-4): A Major is the lowest rank of the Field-Grade Officers. Field-grade Officers hold the rank of Major or Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel. The rank insignia for Major is a gold oak leaf.


Lieutenant Colonel (O-5): A Lieutenant Colonel usually has command of a battalion of up to approximately 1000 Marines; they have the assistance of many junior officers along with a Command Sergeant Major. The insignia for Lieutenant Colonel is a silver oak leaf.


Colonel (O-6): A Colonel usually has command of a Marine Corps regiment which consists of 3-5 battalions. They also have the assistance of several junior officers and a Command Sergeant Major. It takes approximately 17-18 years to reach this rank. The insignia for Colonel is a silver eagle.


Brigadier General (O-7): A Brigadier General has one-star and is the lowest ranking of the General Officer ranks. They serve as advisers and as the Deputy Commander to a Major General commanding a division-sized unit of 10,000 to 15,000 Marines. They also oversee tactical planning and coordination of division operations. The insignia for Brigadier General is one silver star.


Major General (O-8): A Major General has two stars and usually commands a division consisting of 10,000 to 15,000 Marines. The insignia for Major General is two silver stars.


Lieutenant General (O-9): A Lieutenant General has three stars. This is often considered a temporary rank that expires when their active tour of duty comes to an end or they reach the age of 64. A Lieutenant General commands approximately 45,000 Marines. The insignia for Lieutenant General is three silver stars.


General (O-10): A General has four-stars and is the highest rank attainable in the Marine Corps. They are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The insignia for General is four silver stars.

Enlisted Ranks

The enlisted are often referred to as the backbone of the Corps, as there are more enlisted than officers. Pay grades E-4 and E-5 are Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs). Grades E6 through E9 are Staff NCOs. There are two ranks in each E8 and E9 with distinct responsibilities. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is the senior enlisted Marine of the entire Marine Corps and is also a grade E9.

                 NO RANK INSIGNIA

Private (E-1): The entry-level rank in the Marines is Private. Privates wear no rank insignia.


Private First Class (E-2): The second-lowest rank in the Marine Corps is Private First Class. The insignia for Private First Class is one stripe.


Lance Corporal (E-3): A Lance Corporal in the Marines is expected to show professionalism and leadership skills. The insignia for Lance Corporal is one stripe with crossed rifles below the stripe.


Corporal (E-4): Corporals may be in charge of small squads and operations. A Corporal's insignia consists of two stripes and crossed rifles.


Sergeant (E-5): Sergeants are squad leaders of approximately 8 Marines. It is the oldest rank in the Marines. Sergeants serve in combat arenas. The insignia for Sergeant is three stripes and crossed rifles.


Staff Sergeant (E-6): Staff Sergeants may be in charge of platoons with 30 or more Marines and have over 10 years experience. Their insignia is three stripes, crossed rifles and one rocker.


Gunnery Sergeant (E-7): A Gunnery Sergeant is a non-commissioned officer that coordinates weapons, manages logistics, and assists the Company Commander on logistics and company operations strategy. The insignia for Gunnery Sergeant is three stripes, crossed rifles and two rockers.


Master Sergeant (E-8): Serves as a senior enlisted Marine, assists the commanding officer of the battalion, or squadrons with discipline, administration and the welfare of the unit. They provide technical leadership in their specific MOS. The Sergeant Major insignia has three stripes, crossed rifles and three rockers.


First Sergeant (E-8): Serves as a senior enlisted Marine in a company, battery, or other similar echelon. They provide technical leadership as occupational specialists in their specific MOS and fulfill similar duties as the Sergeant Major. The First Sergeants insignia is three stripes, a diamond and three rockers.


Master Gunnery Sergeant (E-9): The highest enlisted rank in the Marines is Master Gunnery Sergeants. They are technical specialist, experts and highly proficient in their fields. The Master Gunnery Sergeant insignia is three stripes, an exploding bomb and four rockers. This is unofficially known as the pineapple patch.


Sergeant Major (E-9): A Sergeant Major will act as a liaison between the enlisted Marines and their command. They assist with logistics, drilling, and disciplinary actions. Sergeant Majors insignia is three stripes, one star and four rockers.


Sergeant Major Of The Marine Corps (E9): The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is a senior enlisted Marine and personally selected by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The insignia for the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is three stripes, two stars on either side of a Marine Corps Emblem and four rockers.

Questions and Answers

How do you get the navy captain eagle?

Navy Captain (O-6) is equivalent to a full Colonel in the army. Both positions are the highest among Sr. Officers before getting into Flag Officer positions. A Navy Captain is a Senior Commissioned Officer's rank in the United States Navy.

Here is more information for the navy rank structure: [3] Talking with a navy recruiter will ensure up to date information on requirements for obtaining goals in the military service.

Navy captain insignia. What does it look like?

The Navy captains Insignia is a silver eagle with its wings spread, facing to the right. There is a silver shield over the torso of the eagle. On their epaulets and sleeves, they wear one star and four gold bars.

Here is a link that you can use in order to view a picture of the rank insignia: [4]

My question is E-7 USMC Gunnery Sergeant is similar to Sub-Official primero en Argentina?

En Argentina Sub-Official primero is same E7 USMC

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Determining the rank of an enlisted Marine by shoulder insignia?

I saw a Marine's shoulder rank insignia I had never seen before and can not identify it. . . It is a single chevron above, with 3 (three) rocker bars underneath. . . Have you ever seen one like it? Thank you. As I say, I have never seen another insignia like it, and I'm curious. I have tried: I've looked at practically every Marine shoulder insignia on the internet, and it's not there. I don't believe it's covered in your website either. I think it was caused by: Have no idea. I don't have any other details. Can you help me?

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Military

Recent edits by: Nuance, Eng, Dougie-1

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