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Check Out Our U.S. Army Sergeant Essay

The United States Army is the chief branch of the Armed forces in the United States, which is responsible for operations which are land based. In the U.S military, it's the oldest and largest established branch and it is also among the seven uniformed U.S. services. The Continental Army was formed in the year 1775 on the 14th of June, this was before the founding of the United States of America in meeting the demands of the American Revolutionary war, and the current Army has its ancestry from the Continental Army (Raymond, 2011). The United States Army was officially created in the year 1784, on the 3rd of June, by the Congress of the Confederation. This was after the end of the revolutionary war, to replace the separated Continental Army. The various grades of a Sergeant are (NCOs) the noncommissioned officers' rankings that are above the corporals and the privates; this is in most of the non-naval paramilitary or military organizations.  The tasks and duties of a sergeant fluctuate from one army to the next. Usually there are several ranks of a Sergeant, and each corresponds to the greater responsibility for the everyday life of the soldier in the larger unit. In the medieval European, any officer or attendant with a duty to protect was a sergeant (Raymond, 2011). 

During the early days of the American Revolution, there existed little standardization of responsibilities and duties of the NCO (Noncommissioned officer). During the extended and hard winter in the year 1778 at the Valley Forge, Friedrich von Steuben, the Inspector General regulated the Noncommissioned officer duties and responsibilities, in his regulations for the discipline and order of the United States' Troops. Amid other things, this work which is normally called the Blue book had set down the obligation, and the responsibility for the corporals, the Sergeants, the First Sergeants, the Quartermaster sergeants, and also the Sergeant major, which were the existing ranks of the NCO in the period. These regulations also, emphasized the significance of choosing high quality soldiers for the Noncommissioned Officer positions. This work of Friedrich Von Steuben, served up as the prime regulations of the army for 30 years.

The duties and responsibilities that were laid down by Friedrich von Steuben included; that the Sergeant Major should serve as the regimental adjutant assistant, by this, he should keep rosters, handled matters and formed details that were concerning the discipline of the regiment and the internal management. The (SGM) Sergeant Major's abilities and experience were same as those of the CMS, though, the influence sphere in regards to leadership was usually limited to those that were directly under his charge. He assisted the Officers at the battalion level that was not exceeding 1000 soldiers and not less than 300 soldiers; he served for a minimum of 10 years for his promotion. The Quarter master Sergeant work was to serve as the assistant to the regimental quartermaster, whose duties were assumed during the absence of the quartermaster. He also served as a supervisor of transport and loading of the baggage of the regiment when on a march.  Von Steuben also, included that the First Sergeant was to encourage duty among troops and also to enforce discipline; he was to maintain the duty roster and also to make the morning report to the commander of the company and kept the descriptive book of the company.

In this document which included every man in the unit, name, place of birth, age, height and prior occupation is listed in this document.   The Corporals and the Sergeants served to instruct the recruits in matters pertaining military training, this included the order of their conduct in regard to sanitation and neatness. The listings of the sick were taken to the First Sergeant who was the life blood of the company, and the principle of the NCO. He was the disciplinarian, provider  and wise counselor, he serves to instruct other SGTs, he helps in the training of all enlisted soldiers and advices the Commander. He also, offers assistance to officers at the company level of 190 soldiers to not less than 62 soldiers. The (SGT) sergeant commanded a squad of 9-10 soldiers, they were to set good examples and standards for their privates because, they oversee the soldiers daily tasks and were considered to have a great impact on the soldiers.

The Staff Sergeants (SSG) also, commanded a squad of 9-10 soldiers. They frequently have more SGT's under their management, and they are responsible in utilizing and maintaining the full range and potential of his soldiers. The Master Sergeant (MSG) was the principle of the NCO at the battalion level, and also higher levels. He is not charged with the same leadership responsibilities as ISG, though he is expected to lead other duties and have leadership with professionalism.

During battle, the Noncommissioned officers were to close the gaps that were occasioned by the sufferers and the casualties. They also, encouraged the men to keep silence and also to fire when necessary, rapidly and also in truth.  The growth and expansion of a strong NCO Corps assisted in sustaining the Continental Army, through the severe adversity to the final victory. "Backbone" of the Army is what Von Steuben called the Noncommissioned officers, his rules and regulations were established as the centerpiece of the NCO from the year 1778 up to date.

Specialists didn't have any supervisory responsibilities and hence, they fell below the rank of the NCO, though same pay grade in authority. Sergeants, who were reduced in grade to E-4, were normally turned into corporals, Sergeants ((SGT) three chevrons E-5). They were usually called the "buck sergeants" so as to differentiate them from the other sergeant ranks. They were the fire team and the mortar squad leaders. (SP6) (E-6) specialists 6s had two arches over and eagle, medical assistants were the only spec 6s in an infantry battalion. There is also the three chevrons with a rocker transversely at the bottom, identified the staff sergeants the ((SSG) E-6) leading weapon squads and rifle. The specialists in the 7s, the ((SP7) E-7) were only to be found in the high echelon unit support, and over their eagles they had three arches. The sergeant first class (SFC) and the platoon sergeant (PSG), these two NCO E-7 ranks, were identified by the two rockers and the three chevrons. They were in battalion, support units and higher staffs. 

There is also, the E-8 rank that is the master sergeant;  (MSG) with three rockers and three chevrons, and a Ist sergeant (ISG) with three chevrons and a diamond at the centre. This sergeant was the chief advisor and assistant of the platoon leader, he is to make quick and acurate decisions in both the interests of the country and its soldiers. The master sergeants were on brigade and battalion staffs while the senior company was the "first shirt." Similarly, there was E-9 ranks; the (CMS) and the (MSG), the Command Sergeant Major and the Sergeant Major. Who were identified by the by the master sergeant chevron, at the center was a star, though the CMS's star was smaller wreathed star. The duty of this sergeant is to perform without supervision, he is anticipated to be accurate, calm and settled and with persistent enthusiasm. He is to provide recommendations to both the staff and the Commander. He carries out his policies, training, performance standards, appearance and the conducts of the enlisted personnel.

Higher staffs and Sergeants majors were on division, while the Command Sergeant Major was the advisor and senior NCO, on enlisted affairs to larger units and commander of the battalion. All in all, the sergeants were called sergeants as opposed to the specialists (Lyles & Rottman 2005). Despite their rank; this was in exception of the 1st sergeants and sergeant Majors, who were addressed just as such. The NCOs are often simply referred to by their pay grade, the E-5 through to E-9, and the specialists were the spec 4 to spec 7.

The typical Continental Army wore an epaulet to indicate his rank, the Sergeants wore the red epaulet and green epaulet was worn by the Corporals in the early stages of the American Revolution. After the year 1779, the Corporals maintained a single epaulet while the Sergeants wore two epaulets. From American Revolution to World War II, the regimental commander gave the noncommissioned Officer his promotion, the entire careers were in one frequently spent in one regiment. One did not take his rank with him if being transferred to another regiment. General in Chief of the Army is the only one who had the authority to transfer a Noncommissioned officer in grade, from one regiment to the next. A chevron is known as the rafter of a roof, as it's defined by the Dictionary of Merriam Webster. It has a V shaped pattern or an inverted V, and presently more shaped stripes on  chevron that indicate service or the rank in the Armed forces. In January 1942, the war department Circular No. 5, 8 added Subsequent grades like; third grade technician, the Fourth grade technician and Technician Fifth grade.

Furthermore, the First sergeant was moved to the first grade on 22nd September 1942 by change C-3, AR 600-35, the designation was changed to three chevrons and instead of two arc, it was changed to three bars. Other changes included a cotton khaki-colored chevron, arcs, on the dark blue background a lozenge and also "T". In modifying the current chevron, this was the first change in design dating back to the year 1920.  There were no more changes to be introduced in the WWII; actually the very first next change that was made by the war department was in the year 1948, and this involved a sergeant of the fourth grade disappearing. This resulted to adding recruits with the 7th scale grade pay. The technicians were then deleted on effective as from 1st of August 1948.

During the American Revolution, three NCO's had received recognition of heroism; these men included the, Sergeant Elijah Churchill, Sergeant Daniel Bissell and Sergeant William Brown. These individuals were awarded the badge of Military merit, a purple heart that has a floral border with the word "merit" that is adorned across the centre. During the assault of Redoubt # 10 at Yorktown, this is where Sergeant William Brown's act of heroism occurred. The nation secured independence as a result of the American Victory at Yorktown, the independence meant that the country would provide defense on its own. The cost of maintaining the army was a burden and yet the country was poor, the government then opted to follow a policy of reducing the number of troops in the Army, to a stripped minimum in the time of peace. In the year 1821, the war department, a general order intended for sergeant's majors and quarter masters sergeants to wear a worsted chevron in each elbow and each arm. In 1829, the Abstract of Infantry Tactics was published; it provided instructions for the training of the NCO's. The purpose of this instruction was to ensure that all NCOs acquire an accurate knowledge of the exercise, and also the use of the firelocks of the soldier's manual exercise of the marching and firing.

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