US Army Enlisted Grade Chronology, 1920-1994

Chronology of U.S. Army Enlisted Ranks, 1920 to Present

The following table shows the major changes in US Army enlisted ranks and insignia from the post-World War I reorganization of the enlisted grades in 1920 to the present day. The insignia used to illustrate are intended to be typical of the period but are not the only color, size or material combinations possible.

Some notes:

1920-1959

Pay Grade September
1920
September
1942
August
1948
Feb.
1951
March
1955
Sept.
1959
pre-1949 post-1949
  E-9          
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Major Specialist 9
  E-8          
USA chevrons USA chevrons USA Chevron
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant Specialist 8
1 E-7
Master Sergeant
USA chevrons USA Chevron
First Sergeant Master Sergeant
Army chevrons Army chevrons Army chevrons
First Sergeant
(combat)
Master Sergeant
(combat)
Master Sergeant
(non-combat)
USA chevrons USA Chevron
First Sergeant Master Sergeant
USA chevrons USA Chevron USA Chevron
First Sergeant Master Sergeant Master Specialist
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant
1st Class
Specialist 7
2 E-6
Army chevrons USA Chevron
First Sergeant Technical Sergeant
USA chevron
Technical Sergeant
Army chevrons USAF Chevron
Sergeant 1st Class
(combat)
Sergeant 1st Class
(non-combat)
USA chevron
Sergeant 1st Class
Army chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant 1st Class Specialist 1st Class
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Staff
Sergeant
Specialist 6
3 E-5
USA Chevron
Staff Sergeant
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Staff Sergeant Technician 3rd Grade
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant (combat) Sergeant (non-combat)
USA chevron
Sergeant
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Specialist 2nd Class
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Specialist 5
4 E-4
Sergeant
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Technician 4th Grade
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal (combat) Corporal (non-combat)
USA chevron
Corporal
Army chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist 3rd Class
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist 4
5 E-3
USA chevron
Corporal
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Technician 5th Grade
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Private 1st Class (combat) Private 1st Class (non-combat)
Private 1st Class
Private 1st Class
USA chevron
Private 1st Class
6 E-2 USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
 
(no insignia)
Private
 
(no insignia)
Private
 
(no insignia)
Private E-2
 
(no insignia)
Private E-2
7 E-1  
(no insignia)
Private
 
(no insignia)
Private
 
(no insignia)
Recruit
 
(no insignia)
Recruit
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
  September
1920
September
1942
August
1948
Feb.
1951
March
1955
Sept.
1959

 

1959-1994

Pay Grade September
1959
1965 May 1968 1978 1979 1985 1994
E-9
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Major Specialist 9
USA chevrons
Sergeant Major
USA chevrons USA chevrons
Command
Sergeant Major
Staff
Sergeant Major [1]
USA chevrons USA chevrons
Command
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
USA chevrons USA chevrons USA chevrons
Sergeant Major
of the Army
Command
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
USA chevrons USA chevrons USA chevrons
Sergeant Major
of the Army
Command
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
USA chevrons USA chevrons USA chevrons
Sergeant Major
of the Army
Command
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
E-8
USA chevrons USA chevrons USA Chevron
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant Specialist 8
USA chevrons USA chevrons
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant
USA chevrons USA chevrons
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant
USA chevrons USA chevrons
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant
USA chevrons USA chevrons
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant
USA chevrons USA chevrons
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant
USA chevrons USA chevrons
1st Sergeant Master Sergeant
E-7
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant
1st Class
Specialist 7
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant
1st Class
Specialist 7
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant
1st Class
Specialist 7
USA chevrons
Sergeant
1st Class
USA chevrons
Sergeant
1st Class
USA chevrons
Sergeant
1st Class
USA chevrons
Sergeant
1st Class
E-6
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Staff
Sergeant
Specialist 6
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Staff
Sergeant
Specialist 6
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Staff
Sergeant
Specialist 6
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Staff
Sergeant
Specialist 6
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Staff
Sergeant
Specialist 6
USA chevrons
Staff
Sergeant
USA chevrons
Staff
Sergeant
E-5
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Specialist 5
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Specialist 5
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Specialist 5
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Specialist 5
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Sergeant Specialist 5
USA chevrons
Sergeant
USA chevrons
Sergeant
E-4
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist 4
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist 4
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist 4
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist 4
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist 4
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist
USA chevrons USA Chevron
Corporal Specialist
E-3 USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
USA Chevron
Private 1st Class
E-2 (no insignia)
Private E-2
(no insignia)
Private E-2
USA Chevron
Private E-2
USA Chevron
Private E-2
USA Chevron
Private E-2
USA Chevron
Private E-2
USA Chevron
Private E-2
E-1  
(no insignia)
Private E-1
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
 
(no insignia)
Private E-1
  September
1959
1965 May 1968 1978 1979 1985 1994

Notes:


References:


All text and images © Justin T. Broderick, 2013 unless otherwise indicated.