U.S. Army Enlisted Rank Insignia of World War I
1917-1920

U.S Army enlisted rank insignia reached its greatest complexity in the First World War period. The expansion of new branches and grades caused a proliferation of insignia which taxed the army's supply system and left room for reform, which would come in the grade consolidation of 1920.

The number of grades and the fact that not all branches had the same structure makes it difficult to present all the information in tabular form. The following table presents all grades and insignia together, sortable by precedence, title, branch and date.

The table is based on the War Department's Special Regulations No. 42: Specifications for the Uniform of the United States Army of 15 August, 1917,1 and subsequent changes through 1919. Ranks and insignia earlier in 1917 are essentially the same as in the August order.

Before the war, chevrons worn on blue dress uniforms were colored according to branch, while those of service uniforms were in dull colors like the olive drab or khaki uniform. On 15 May 1917 use of blue dress uniforms was suspended for the duration of the war, except for use at the White House.2 On 26 June 1917 blue uniforms were suspended completely.3 In May 1918, soldiers were ordered to wear grade insignia only on the right sleeve.4

Dress blue insignia colors, 1917 regulations

rank insignia rank insignia rank insignia rank insignia rank insignia
Field Artillery,
Coast Artillery
(scarlet)
Cavalry
(yellow)
Infantry,
U.S. Military Academy Band
(white)
Corps of Engineers
(scarlet piped with white)
Ordnance Corps
(black piped with scarlet)
rank insignia rank insignia rank insignia rank insignia rank insignia
Signal Corps
(orange piped with white)
Medical Department
(maroon piped with white)
Quartermaster Corps
(buff)
Army Detachment,
U.S. Military Academy
(green piped with white)
Army Service School Detachments
(green)

Initial regulations still reflected the army organization of the late 1800s, with divisions between "line" or combat units that operated in the field (Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery and Engineers) and supporting units or staff that were usually attached to posts. The line NCOs generally wore "plain" chevrons, while others had a branch device. Musicians and specialists in all branches also wore distinctive devices, as did all privates first class.

The first change to the uniform specifications was issued 29 December 1917. For enlisted grades it addressed mostly musicians, but there were also new chevrons for the Ordnance Corps, after wartime authorization added the grade of sergeant first class to that branch.

"Changes No. 3" of 19 February 1918 was the first to address newly-organized wartime branches. The Chemical Service (later renamed the Chemical Warfare Service), Tank Corps, Corps of Intelligence Police and Corps of Interpreters were prescribed new insignia, based on those of the Medical Department, but with their own newly-authorized branch devices.

The biggest reform to enlisted grade insignia during the war came with "Changes No. 4" of 5 May 1918. It listed 32 insignia "of general application," which could be used by any branch. Branch devices were removed from the chevrons of sergeants first class, sergeants and corporals that had used them before. Designs with a wreath and branch device were standardized for most senior technical or administrative specialist NCOs across all branches. At the same time, distinctions returned to some company-level NCOs: Mess sergeants, supply sergeants and stable sergeants. Musician insignia remained distinctive. Because of the large-scale adoption of motorized transport in the American Expeditionary Force, motor sergeant and chauffeur grades were authorized in all branches. Because privates first class and some specialized senior NCOs used branch devices in their insignia, though, there were still a significant number of branch-specific insignia. The branch insignia of the Tank Corps had also been changed since the February order, from the front view of a French tank to a side view of a Mark VIII tank, with dragons and a wreath below. Though the regulations specified only "a tank" for enlisted grade insignia, many were made using the entire branch device.

Wartime expansion meant that there were some privates who were not assigned to traditional regimental units or post staff, and new insignia were authorized for privates first class of headquarters and the recruiting service, as well as USMA and school detachments which had not previously had privates assigned.

"Changes No. 5" of 17 July 1918 introduced enlisted insignia for the Air Service, newly separated from the Signal Corps. The winged propeller device was specified for master signal electricians and privates first class. All other grades would wear "general application" insignia, but in practice unauthorized insignia with branch devices were commonly worn. "Changes No. 6" of 15 October 1918 added insignia for the Motor Transport Corps, and "Changes No. 7" added the Transportation Corps and the Provost Marshal General's Department on 25 January 1919.

By this point the only enlisted grade insignia that were branch-specific were those of senior noncommissioned officers and privates first class. With 20 to 30 of the latter in every company, stocking 18 different designs created an obvious supply challenge. "Changes No. 11" of 26 July 1919 addressed this by prescribing all privates first class the same insignia: "an arc of one bar."

NOTES ON THE TABLE

"Precedence group" is a number created for this table, based on official sources. Before enlisted pay grades were established in 1920, army regulations specified precedence starting with the rank of general as number one, lieutenant general as number two and so on through all grades down to private. When new grades were created during the war, the numbering also changed. To make this table sortable, positions on the army's precedence list have been converted to a whole number. As an example, in 1917 the grade of regimental sergeant major was numbered "12(a)," quartermaster sergeant senior grade was "12(b)," hospital sergeant was "12(c)," and ordnance sergeant was "13".5 In the table below those have been numbered "1" through "4". To reflect army practice before 1949, the number one is used for the most senior position.

The dates used for "general application" insignia in any particular branch is the same date as other insignia of that branch appeared in the regulations. In actual use, any insignia that was superseded by a new design might still be worn.

An effort has been made to determine what grades were actually used in specific branches or units by checking tables of organization.6 For instance, as far as the author can determine, the only grades used in the Corps of Interpreters or the Corps of Intelligence Police were sergeant first class and sergeant.

The chevrons were generally applied pieces of drab fabric. Other devices could be applied or embroidered. The insignia illustrated in the table are intended to be typical of the period, but are not the only types that could be worn.

 

 

Precedence group Title Insignia Branch Date Notes
1 Regimental
Sergeant Major
rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
1 Sergeant Major,
senior grade
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
1 Regimental
Sergeant Major
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
1Regimental
Sergeant Major
rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
1Regimental
Sergeant Major
rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
2 Quartermaster Sergeant,
senior grade
rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15  
2 Quartermaster Sergeant,
senior grade
rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15  
2 Master Hospital
Sergeant
rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
2 Master Engineer,
senior grade
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
2 Master Engineer,
senior grade
rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19  
2 Master Engineer,
senior grade
rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/02/19  
2 Master Engineer,
senior grade
rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07 rank insignia
A variant using the entire Tank Corps device was also used.
2 Master Electrician rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
2 Master
Signal Electrician
rank insignia Signal Corps 1917/08/15  
2 Master
Signal Electrician
rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
2 Master
Signal Electrician
rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17 There were also variants with a white propeller.
2 Master Engineer, senior grade rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
2 Band Leader rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
3 Hospital Sergeant rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
3 Hospital Sergeant rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
3 Engineer rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
3 Master Engineer,
junior grade
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
3 Master Engineer, junior grade rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19  
3 Master Engineer, junior grade rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25  
4 Ordnance Sergeant rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/08/15  
4 Ordnance Sergeant rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/12/29  
4 Ordnance Sergeant rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
4 Quartermaster Sergeant rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15  
4 Quartermaster Sergeant rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
4 Regimental Supply
Sergeant
rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
4 Regimental Supply
Sergeant
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
4 Regimental Supply
Sergeant
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
4 Regimental Supply
Sergeant
rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
4 Regimental Supply
Sergeant
rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
5 Battalion Sergeant Major rank insignia Army School Detachments 1917/08/15  
5 Squadron Sergeant Major rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
5 Sergeant Major,
junior grade
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
5 Battalion Sergeant Major rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
5Battalion Sergeant Major rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
5Battalion Sergeant Major rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
5 Battalion Supply Sergeant rank insignia Army School Detachments 1917/08/15  
5 Battalion Supply Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant rank insignia Army School Detachments 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant rank insignia Army Detachment, U.S. Military Academy 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
6 First Sergeant
(drum major)
rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15 The first sergeant of the regimental headquarters troop had additional duty as drum major.

Discontinued 1918/05/07.

6 First Sergeant
of Band
(drum major)
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15 Discontinued 1918/05/07.
6 First Sergeant
(drum major)
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15 The first sergeant of the regimental headquarters company had additional duty as drum major.

Discontinued 1918/05/07.

6 First Sergeant
(drum major)
rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15 The first sergeant of the regimental headquarters company had additional duty as drum major.

Discontinued 1918/05/07.

6 First Sergeant
(drum major)
rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15 The first sergeant of the regimental headquarters company had additional duty as drum major.

Discontinued 1918/05/07.

7 Electrician Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Army School Detachments 1917/08/15  
7 Electrician Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Army School Detachments 1918/05/07  
7 Electrician Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
7 Electrician Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
7 Assistant Engineer rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/12/29  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Signal Corps 1917/08/15  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/02/19
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07 rank insignia rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Interpreters 1918/02/19  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Interpreters 1918/05/07  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Intelligence Police 1918/02/19  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Intelligence Police 1918/05/07  
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
There were also variants with a white propeller.
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
There were also variants with a white tire on the wheel.
7 Sergeant 1st Class rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
8 Master Gunner rank insignia Army Detachment, U.S. Military Academy 1917/08/15  
8 Master Gunner rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
8 Band Sergeant
and Assistant Leader
rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1917/08/15  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1918/05/07  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
8 Assistant
Band Leader
rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
8Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
8Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
8Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
8 Sergeant
Bugler
rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
8 Drum Major rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1917/08/15  
8 Drum Major rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1918/05/07  
8 Sergeant of Field Music rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1917/08/15  
8 Sergeant of Field Music rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1918/05/07  
8 Electrician Sergeant
2nd Class
rank insignia Army School Detachments 1917/08/15  
8 Electrician Sergeant
2nd Class
rank insignia Army School Detachments 1918/05/07  
8 Electrician Sergeant
2nd Class
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
8 Electrician Sergeant
2nd Class
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
8 Radio Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
8 Radio Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
9 Color Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
9 Color Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
9 Color Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
9 Color Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
9 Color Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Army Detachment, U.S. Military Academy 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Army School Detachments 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Signal Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Sergeant rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1917/08/15  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/02/19  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07 rank insignia rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
10 Sergeant rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
There were also variants with a white propeller.
10 Sergeant rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
There were also variants with a white tire on the wheel.
10 Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Interpreters 1918/02/19  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Interpreters 1918/05/07  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Intelligence Police 1918/02/19  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Intelligence Police 1918/05/07  
10 Sergeant rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
10 Supply Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Mess Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07 rank insignia
The former insignia of commissary sergeants, disestablished in 1912, were also worn unofficially by mess sergeants.
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
10 Stable Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
10 Band Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07  
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15
10 Motor Sergeant rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25
10 Fireman rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
10 Chief Mechanic rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
10 Chief Mechanic rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07  
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15
10 Chauffeur 1st Class rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25
11 Corporal rank insignia Army Detachment, U.S. Military Academy 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Army School Detachments 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal rank insignia Signal Corps 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1917/08/15  
11 Corporal rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19  
11 Corporal rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/02/19  
11 Corporal rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07 rank insignia rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
11 Corporal rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
There were also variants with a white propeller.
11 Corporal rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
There were also variants with a white tire on the wheel.
11 Corporal rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25 rank insignia
Unauthorized versions using a branch device were also worn.
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Field Artillery1918/05/07  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
11 Band Corporal rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal Bugler rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal Bugler rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal Bugler rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal Bugler rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
11 Corporal Bugler rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
12 Lance Corporal rank insignia U.S. Military Academy Band 1917/08/15  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07  
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15
12 Chauffeur rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07  
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07
12 Bugler 1st Class rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
12 Mechanic rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
12 Mechanic rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Mechanic rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
12 Mechanic rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
12 Mechanic rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
12 Mechanic rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Saddler rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
12 Saddler rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Saddler rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
12 Saddler rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
12 Saddler rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Signal Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Cook rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19  
12 Cook rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/02/19
12 Cook rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
12 Farrier rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15 Unauthorized after 1917/05/07
12 Horseshoer rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
12 Horseshoer rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Horseshoer rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
12 Horseshoer rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
12 Horseshoer rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
12 Horseshoer rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
12 Wagoner rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
12 Wagoner rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
12 Wagoner rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
12 Wagoner rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
12 Wagoner rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
12 Wagoner rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
12 Musician 1st Class rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
12 Musician 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
12 Musician 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
12 Musician 1st Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
12Musician 1st Class rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Medical Department 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/12/29  
12 Buglerrank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Signal Corps 1917/12/29  
12 Bugler rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19  
12 Bugler rank insignia Tank Corps 1917/12/29
12 Bugler rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to headquarters of a cavalry division, cavalry brigade, or cavalry division train.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Cavalry 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to headquarters of Coast Artillery districts.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to engineer trains.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to ammunition trains, artillery parks and headquarters of army artillery, artillery brigades or Coast Artillery districts.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Infantry 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to headquarters of a territorial department, infantry division, infantry brigade, or infantry division train.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Infantry 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/08/15
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Signal Corps 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to the Aviation Section until 17 July 1918.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Signal Corps 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to sanitary trains.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Medical Department 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15 Also used by privates first class assigned to supply trains.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/02/19
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07 rank insignia
A variant using the entire Tank Corps device was also used.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Tank Corps 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia General Recruiting Service 1918/05/07
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia General Recruiting Service1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Army School Detachments 1918/05/07
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Army School Detachments 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Army Detachment, U.S. Military Academy 1918/05/07
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Army Detachment, U.S. Military Academy 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Headquarters
(GHQ, army HQ, corps HQ)
1918/05/07
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Headquarters
(GHQ, army HQ, corps HQ)
1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17 There were also variants with a white propeller.
12 Private 1st Class rank insigniaAir Service1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15 There were also variants with a white tire on the wheel.
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Provost Marshal General's Department 1919/01/25
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Provost Marshal General's Department 1919/07/26
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25
12 Private 1st Class rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/07/26
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Cavalry 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Field Artillery 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Infantry 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeurrank insignia Medical Department 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Ordnance Corps 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Quartermaster Corps 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Signal Corps 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/05/07  
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Tank Corps 1918/05/07
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15
13 Assistant Chauffeur rank insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25
13 Musician 2nd Class rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
13 Musician 2nd Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
13 Musician 2nd Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
13 Musician 2nd Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
13Musician 2nd Class rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
13 Musician 3rd Class rank insignia Cavalry 1917/12/29  
13 Musician 3rd Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/12/29  
13 Musician 3rd Class rank insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/12/29  
13 Musician 3rd Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/12/29  
13Musician 3rd Class rank insignia Infantry 1917/12/29  
13 Private no insignia Cavalry 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Corps of Engineers 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Infantry 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Medical Department 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Ordnance Corps 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Quartermaster Corps 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Signal Corps 1917/08/15  
13 Private no insignia Chemical Warfare Service 1918/02/19  
13 Private no insignia Tank Corps 1918/02/19
13 Private no insignia Air Service 1918/07/17
13 Private no insignia Motor Transport Corps 1918/10/15
13 Private no insignia Provost Marshal General's Department 1918/10/15
13 Private no insignia Transportation Corps 1919/01/25

 

 

 

Artillery Ratings

Sergeants, corporals, privates first class and privates of the artillery branches could qualify for special ratings which carried additional pay. For sergeants and corporals, the insignia was worn below the chevrons.

Title Insignia Branch Date
Casemate Electrician rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Casemate Electrician rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07
Observer 1st Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Plotter rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Plotter rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1918/05/07
Chief Planter rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Coxswain rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Chief Loader rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Observer 2nd Class rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Gun Commander rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Gun Pointer rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Gunner 1st Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15
Gunner 1st Class,
gun or mortar company
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Gunner 1st Class,
mine company
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Gunner 2nd Class rank insignia Field Artillery 1917/08/15
Gunner 2nd Class,
gun or mortar company
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15
Gunner 2nd Class,
mine company
rank insignia Coast Artillery Corps 1917/08/15

 

 

 


Acknowledgement:

Lieut. Colonel William Emerson has done the definitive research on army grade insignia, and his work has been a great influence on this site. His website: emersoninsignia.net

His books, which include extensive historical information and a cataloging system for enlisted grade insignia:


Notes:


All text and images © Justin T. Broderick, 2013-2021.