Skip to comments.Vanity. Military rank question
Posted on 09/17/2013 6:55:55 AM PDT by KingLudd
Apologies for posting here. This may be my very first post.
5 years ago, I promised a young Marine that I would purchase his officer's sabre if he made it. I just received word that he will be promoted to Corporal in Oct. Is it time for me to make good on my promise? When do officers generally carry a sabre? Any historical advice or purchase advice in terms of price, source, style is greatly appreciated. This Marine is an exceptionally good person. Thank you
Corporal is an Enlisted Rank, not Officer ...
Corporal (E-4) - 12 months TIS and 8 months TIG
A corporal is not an officer, so you can spend your money on something else.
You would be looking at an NCO sword not an officer sabre.
Corporal or captain? Because if he’s a corporal then he’ll look out of place with a saber.
I don’t know much about Marines but the universal acceptance is that only Commissioned Officers, Lieutenant and above, carry swords. Corporals are Non-Coms.
Not only that, but he will be out of uniform.
E-4 and above can carry..typically ceremonial..weddings and retirements, honor guard. USN Ret. 0-3E, ‘75-2001...been there, done that..got the shirt...LOl...and sword.
This kind of ignorance manifests itself when so few American men serve in the military.
Buy him a swagger stick, but make certain he uses it off base.
I don't know much about the Army, but, as a symbol of leadership in combat, the Marines allow both NCO's (Non-Coms) and Officers to carry the ceremonial sword.
USMC “Corporal’ is an NCO Rank not an “Officer”.
There has to be a joke in there, i.e. not letting an ensign carry a sword.
Something along the lines of:
What's the most dangerous weapon in the US Army's arsenal?
Ans: A 2nd Lieutenant and a map.
From experience, that's not far from the truth. I was lucky: I received dozens of hours of training in map reading and orienteering. Plus, during my first year in Germany, I spent a lot of time on weekends driving through the local area.
Came in handy during alerts and tac evals. I knew all of the local bakereis, and introduced the owners to several evaluators. lol
Maybe. But why has he continued to allow you to believe you owe him an officer's sword all these years? He's not an officer (he didn't "make it" as an officer) and those things aren't cheap.
“What’s the most dangerous weapon in the US Army’s arsenal?
Ans: A 2nd Lieutenant and a map.”
The above is incorrect. A 2nd Lieutenant and a map is the second most dangerous weapon. The most dangerous weapon is a 2nd Lieutenant with a map and a compass!
I know. I once was one of those dangerous weapons.
Are butterbars less dangerous today, thanks to GPS? I think not.
“But why has he continued to allow you to believe you owe him an officer’s sword all these years? He’s not an officer (he didn’t “make it” as an officer) and those things aren’t cheap.”
All I know is that he has been promoted. I asked a simple question hoping to understand the situation.
It depends upon how you look at it. A cpl is an NCO; which stands for non-commissioned officer. It is taken very seriously in the Marine Corps. As my first sergeant used to tell the new corporals that they were “officers, currently in a non-commissioned status.” NCOs are authorized to purchase Marine Corps NCO swords; which are different than officer swords. Your call on which way you want to handle it.
In the Marine Corps, a corporal is an NCO, and would be authorized to possess an NCO’s sword.
This is a different sword than the mameluke, the Officer’s sword.
All Officers of Marines must have a mameluke (it is part of their uniform requirement). An NCO sword is used by NCO’s in certain ceremonial situations, but I don’t think there is a sword requirement unless they are in certain positions.
You get promoted to Corporal by showing up to work on time and being able to spell your name correctly"
Slight correction - Midshipmen and officers O-1 and above are authorized to carry swords.
You are correct in that NCOs may carry a cutlass, and it’s been a while, but I believe that Warrant Officers may carry a dirk.
Note that it was also allowed for an officer to carry a cutlass if he choose, but I don’t know if that is still allowed. Don’t have my bluejackets manual around at the moment.
If I knew how to post pictures, I would take one of my husband’s officer’s sword. He had to get one when he graduated from USNA. We used his to cut our wedding cake, and we had the arch of swords to exit the church. Makes a really nice wall hanging, too. He didn’t have one as an enlisted.
Corporal is a one of the three types of officers in the US military. There are Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. A Corporal is a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) rank. Per regulation, NCOs are authorized a sword that can be worn under certain conditions.
He isn't a commissioned officer and as a result he is never referred to as an officer. If you want that in there you call him a non-commissioned officer or 'en-cee-oh'. In reality if he is a good Marine he wants to hear Corporal as it is a big deal in the Corps expecially in combat arms. As an aside, you're quite the dude to sack up for the sword, it is pricey.
Here is a link showing "enlisted" insignia which will help you understand how enlisted ranks are ordered, who is lowest on the totem pole, who is second, etc.
Here is a link showing the "officer" insignias, which will help you understand how the officer ranks are ordered.
It is veeeery difficult, almost unheard of, to get promoted from the enlisted ranks to the officer ranks. There are some old enlisted guys who got battlefield commissions (i.e., a battlefield promotion to the lowest officer rank from an enlisted rank) during WWII, and I think one or two did it in Korea. I don't know if it's been done since then. Otherwise, you have to go to West Point, Annapolis, etc., to become an officer, or go to what is called Officer Candidate School (Army).
NCO to officer is not all that unusual. My senior DI at PI, a staff sergeant E-6, retired as a Marine captain O-3 after 20 years.
Oh! When I was in a looooong time ago (army), it was very rare. Which is why I should be more careful when talking about the situation today, or talking about the different branches of the service!
A quick search shows there were at least some during Vietnam.
“”From 1963-1973 the Marine Corps Commandant appointed a permanent
Board with the mission of selecting those enlisted men of the Marine
Corps whose performance under fire while serving in Vietnam merited a
commission. A list of 62 enlisted men who were commissioned includes
one man who was killed before he could accept his commission.””
“”The Department of Defense, in an official communication, has stated
that there were no battlefield commissions awarded by the Army during
the Vietnam conflict. In September, 1985, a letter was written to
General William Westmoreland who commanded all troops in Vietnam
requesting the Generals comments on the subject. General Westmoreland
replied: We did commission several NCOs on the battlefield in
Another excellent suggestion, and just damned handy for havin’ around !
I learned about it on NCIS. :)
Well, I have a friend who just retired as a senior NCO with over 20 years. He would very much agree that butter-bars are as dangerous as ever.